KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Police Department is investigating the disappearance of 26-year-old Desheena Kyle, who has not been seen in over three months, as a possible homicide and have identified a person of interest in the case.
Kyle was reported missing from her Wilson Road apartment on June 28 by her grandmother, who last spoke to her on June 14. The last verified sighting was on June 18, when she was seen at her apartment. Since then, Kyle has not been seen or contacted her family or friends.
The case is now being treated and investigated as a possible homicide based on the lack of sightings, a prolonged period without contact with friends or family and the cumulative evidence.
Police say 29-year-old John Bassett is considered a person of interest in the case. Bassett, who was previously in a relationship with Desheena, was arrested on drug and weapon charges at his residence on Ohio Avenue on July 7 and remains in custody.
Bassett has not been charged in relation to the Desheena Kyle case.
“The KPD has never tired on this case and will continue to work vigorously to find Desheena,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “We have developed significant leads and made substantial progress on this case. We have also received numerous tips on the case, and we know that there are people still out there who have answers. We ask anyone who has information that could assist investigators to please come forward.”
“I cannot fathom the intense emotions and grief that Desheena’s family has experienced over the past three months,” Thomas added. “We are in complete support of the family’s efforts to find Desheena and involve the community in those efforts to bring Desheena home.”
According to court records from July 2014, Bassett and Kyle got into a physical fight and he hit her at the home that was searched on Wednesday. Bassett reportedly hit her in the side of the head as she tried to leave the home, and when she tried to take off in a car, Bassett allegedly hit the window of her car with a rock and broke it causing her more injury. He was arrested for the incident but charges were later dropped.
Anyone with information regarding Desheena’s whereabouts or the circumstances of her disappearance is urged to contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.easttnvalleycrimestoppers.org or via the free mobile app P3 Tips. Tipsters will remain anonymous and be eligible to receive a cash reward.