KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — While the discovery of Desheena Kyle’s body has brought closure to the more than three-month search for the 26-year-old Knoxville woman, it has opened up many of her family members and friends to pain over her loss.
“It’s just a tragedy that she was taken away from us,” said Margot Henderson, a close friend of Kyle. “It just seems like such a senseless act of violence, because Desheena wouldn’t hurt anyone. She wouldn’t give anyone reason to hurt her.”
Thursday morning, Knoxville Police confirmed the body they found in the 6900 block of Sam Tillery Road was in fact Kyle.
Henderson said she expected Kyle to still be alive before hearing the news.
“This is not the outcome that any of us was expecting,” she said. “We were really expecting to search for her and continue looking, and finding her and bringing her home safely. And for this to be the outcome, it’s just. So many of us are devastated.”
Lesson to be learned
Knoxville Police say Kyle’s former boyfriend 29-year-old John Bassett is considered a person of interest in the case. Bassett was arrested on drug and weapon charges on July 7 at his residence on Ohio Avenue and remains in custody.
Henderson believes something more could have been done to prevent Kyle’s death.
“Desheena had reached out to the police for help before, and they discarded it as you know, a boyfriend or girlfriend just getting into a spat, everything is OK,” Henderson said. “And I feel like when the police get those calls, they need to take it more serious than what they do.”
Henderson used to live with Kyle and they got very close. Henderson loved watching movies with her, working with her and just talking about life. She experienced so much with Kyle, she can’t believe she’s gone.
“We’re never going to hear her voice again,” Henderson said. “We’re never going to see her smile again, or anything like that and she experienced so many life things with me. She was there when I gave birth to my daughter. She encouraged me to do better and be better in life, and I just, we’re just so devastated,” Henderson said.
She said even though Kyle was younger, she learned so much from her. She believes, even in death, others can learn from her as well.
“If anybody can learn from this and Desheena’s experience, (it) is this could have been anyone in an abusive relationship,” Henderson said. “This could be the outcome for them. Don’t let your abuser make you a victim.”
Henderson is just one of many friends and family members mourning Kyle.
Xia Tapp has known Kyle since middle school. As they continued through school together they became even closer, as if they were twins, Tapp said.
“I will never forget the countless sleepovers we had that often turned into weeklong stays because neither of us wanted to separate,” Tapp said.
The two bonded over their love for animals and trying to rescue any strays they could. They were always there for each other.
When she heard about a body was found in connection to Kyle’s investigation, Tapp said it felt like her heart collapsed. Just like Henderson, she can’t believe someone would want to hurt Kyle.
“When it was confirmed I was completely broken and also very angry, because I just don’t understand why this would happen to her,” Tapp said.
Henderson asked for the public to keep Kyle’s family in their prayers.
“I wish there was words that I could say that could comfort the family, but I don’t have any. There’s nothing any of us can say that will make it better.”