WARTBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — A new report of a tree analysis released by the district attorney’s office on Monday is indicating no foul play in the 2017 disappearance of a Morgan County man.
Last week, a human male’s skull was found Wednesday downstream from clothing, a revolver and a pocket knife in a remote area of Morgan County where investigators were searching for a man missing since 2017.
Investigators had shared the difficulty in their continued search for Kevin Hamby Tuesday in the remote and steep area near Pilot Mountain where the man’s all-terrain vehicle and a shoe had been found.
A new lead in the case had investigators out searching for more clues this week — after they found the all-terrain vehicle and a shoe belonging to him late Monday.
To better understand the case, a timeline of reported events related to Hamby is below, from most recent developments at the top:
March 29, 2021
DA: Unidentified skull believed to be Hamby’s, tree analysis indicates accident
One week after Hamby’s all-terrain vehicle was discovered in a remote area of Pilot Mountain in Morgan County plus additional searches Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, investigators have shared more details in the case on Monday; stating that a nearby tree where Hamby’s ATV, a Polaris RZR 1000, was found had clues pointing to a crash.
Because of this report, no foul play is suspected and investigators are calling it an accident. Investigators are also waiting on DNA results for the unidentified human skull found last week, but stated in a release Monday that they believe the skull to be that of Hamby.
March 24, 2021
Unidentified human skull, belongings of Hamby found
- A human male’s skull was found Wednesday downstream from clothing, a revolver and a pocket knife in a remote area of Morgan County where investigators were searching for Hamby.
- District Attorney Russell Johnson said says the items were found near a waterfall, and that they were identified as belongings of Kevin Hamby.
- “This cannot be identified as being the skull of Kevin Hamby, yet,” Johnson said. “The skull will be transferred to the Knox County Forensic Center to be sent on to Texas for DNA comparison testing.”
March 23, 2021
The search continues
- The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said additional search efforts using a K-9 unit and metal detectors began Tuesday morning after the Hamby’s ATV was found late Monday.
- According to the sheriff’s office, EMS, firefighters, rescue squad, and agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation were called in Monday by Sheriff Wayne Potter to the scene to conduct a grid search of the area for a possible body or other evidence.
- Since it was growing dark and rain was expected, the search continued Tuesday. Sheriff Potter cautioned that the conditions were already “not so safe” because of the steep degree of the slope where Hamby’s ATV was located.
- As of Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Potter said there was no other evidence of Hamby or his whereabouts.
March 22, 2021
Shoe and ATV belonging to Hamby found “in a remote area of Morgan County”
- The all-terrain vehicle and a shoe belonging to a still-missing Morgan County man were discovered Monday “in a remote location of Morgan County,” according to Sheriff Wayne Potter.
- Acting on new information from an unidentified individual in the case of missing man Kevin Hamby, investigators searched the area of the given location where a Tennessee Highway Patrol flyover was called in. The ATV was spotted from the air and searchers confirmed its ownership.
- The tip about the ATV’s location from the unidentified person had been shared with Kevin’s father, who informed investigators and they were able to interview this person and obtain the new lead.
Oct. 26, 2020
Morgan Co. Sheriff investigates skull found on fireplace mantel
- Although investigators later identified the human skull to be that of a different missing Morgan County man, Junior Willie McCann, the sheriff said in a release his initial thoughts were of Hamby before the forensic center confirmed the identity.
- McCann had also gone missing in the Gobey area, only back in 2012. A dog had reportedly brought the skull up onto a Morgan County residence. Apart from McCann there were still a handful more of missing persons in Morgan County.
Nov. 19, 2017
Hamby’s family speaks about search for Kevin
- The family of Kevin Hamby spoke with WATE 6 On Your Side about their concerns for Hamby’s disappearance. His father Reuben Hamby and wife Connie Hamby said Kevin has never disappeared like this before.
- “We’re praying for him and hope we see him again. We just want him home,” they said.
Nov. 14, 2017
Hamby is last seen
- According to investigators Hamby was last seen on the ATV, a Polaris RZR, leaving his home in the Gobey area of Morgan County the evening of Nov. 14, 2017. His family said he had been wearing jeans, a black baseball cap, gray hoodie and brown shoes.