SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – Allegations that an East Tennessee father may have been behind the death of his own daughter were made to a national audience Monday.
Shannon Hercutt’s sister accused her father, Ted Hercutt, of being behind Hercutt’s murder on the Dr. Phil Show.
The murder happened in August of 2009 in Sevier County.
Investigators first believed Shannon Hercutt died in a car crash.
Later they said evidence showed she was killed prior to the crash.
“I know you have paid someone to kill Shannon, and don’t sit there and act like you’re so innocent,” said Penny Stephens, Hercutt’s sister, to her father on the Dr. Phil show Monday.
“I don’t know where you’re getting your story. I have been cleared by the sheriff,” he said, rebutting the accusation. “What is wrong with you girl?”
For years Stephens has pleaded for someone to come forward to help solve her sister’s case, but she says she has kept this a secret for too long.
Previous story: Jan Hercutt soon to be ex-wife of Ted Hercutt is speaking out
“I had to do something and I felt like going national was the only thing to do,” she told WATE 6 On Your Side Tuesday.
Ted Hercutt told WATE 6 On Your Side several years ago he knew he was a suspect early on.
“I was accused from the very beginning. I got a phone call, ‘Ted, make sure you have everything and get over here because they’re accusing you of murder,'” he said in a 2010 interview.
Since then, Hercutt said his name has been cleared.
Stephens and Ted Hercutt’s soon to be ex-wife Jan Cookenour both appeared on Dr. Phil, firing away the accusations and asking for justice.
“Since we’ve gone to Dr. Phil I feel like I can finally breathe. I don’t cry anymore,” said Cookenour.
“We lost a loving person, my sister, a family member, a living human being, and people know so much and they’re not coming out to help,” said Stephens.
WATE 6 On Your Side did reach out to Ted Hercutt on Tuesday for his side of the story. He said he was not ready for an interview and that he is still trying to recover from Stephens’ accusations.
The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing and they have followed up on all leads.
There is a $45,000 reward being offered.