Human remains found believed to be of missing Dyersburg man
The recent discovery of human remains may be those of a Dyersburg man that has been missing since June of 2012.
On Tuesday, the Dyersburg Police Dept. and the Dyer County Sheriff's Office performed a joint recovery operation of human remains in a wooded area between South Main Street and the Bruce community. After the recovery, Dyersburg Police Chief Art Heun stated the remains that were found were "tentatively" identified as those of Curtis Tyler, who was 27-years-old at the time of his disappearance.
"We have tentatively identified the remains, however, we are reluctant to positively identify them until we get a report from the medical examiner's office," said Heun. "We found items that lead us to believe it is (Curtis Tyler)."
Tyler was last seen on Saturday, June 30, 2012, at Barker's Trailer Park off of Christie Street in Dyersburg. His family reported him missing the following Tuesday after not being in contact with him for several days. The Dyersburg Police Department has an open missing person investigation on Tyler and has been following up on leads since he was reported missing on July 3, 2012. Since that time, numerous searches have been performed around the area by law enforcement and the Vyper Search and Rescue Team, with little to no results.
Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box says his office was contacted shortly after noon on Tuesday by a person that was turkey hunting near the Forked Deer River and found the remains.
"Myself and investigators were dispatched to a wooded area between South Main Street and the Bruce community about possible human remains," said Box. "We went to the area with the person who found the remains and after we determined it was in the city limits we notified Dyersburg Police," said Box.
The Dyersburg Police Dept. and the Dyer County Sheriff's Office dispatched nine investigators to the scene where the remains were found. While on the scene, Heun stated the investigators were working together to document evidence before removing the remains from the area.
"Investigators have been recovering the items, mapping the area, and locating all of the physical evidence that we are trying to collect," said Heun.
The remains were taken out of the area and will now be transported to the Shelby County Medical Examiner's Office for them to make a positive identification and determine the manner of death.
"We will send DNA samples that we've collected and they should be able to make an identification," said Heun.
Police contacted Tyler's family on Tuesday afternoon, telling them of the possible identification of Tyler.
The family stated they believe the remains found on Tuesday were those of Tyler and they released this statement:
"It's been almost two of the longest years for the Tyler, Hutching, and Walker families. Words can't express the pain we have felt in regards to our loved one Curtis Tyler being missing. The worry of not knowing where, when, or why. I hope no one else has to suffer the way that we have. You never know things like this would happen, especially so close to heart. He was a funny, kind-hearted person; always kept a smile on his face no matter what was going on. No matter the hardship he was going through on his own, he would make sure his loved ones laughed through theirs. On April 1, 2014, God answered our struggling prayers, even though it was not what we wanted to hear, we no longer have to look in every ditch, culvert, patch of woods, and waters that we had heard of throughout all of the horrifying stories. Now this family can at least have some type of closure, and a proper burial for this father, son, grandson, brother, nephew, and uncle. We want to thank this community for all the support, and for all the prayers, and for never giving up. We would also like to give a special thanks to everyone that helped in the investigation and searched for Curtis for countless hours over the past two years. Curtis Tyler will hold a special place in all of our hearts. He's gone but never forgotten, at least until we meet again."
Heun says they are waiting to see what the medical examiner's report says in order for them to determine the cause of death and if it is indeed Tyler.
"We will proceed in our investigation after we receive that information," said Heun.
He is also encouraging anyone with any information about the case to contact the Dyersburg Police Department at 731-285-1212 or Crime Stoppers of Dyer County at 731-285-TIPS.
Heun also commented on how well the two departments worked together on the recovery operation.
"The sheriff and the investigators have done a great job in assisting us," said Heun. "We would have probably been out here a lot longer if it hadn't been for them."
Box stated his department would assist police investigators and to help bring a closure to the case.
"The sheriff's office is more than willing to provide any type of support in the investigation and any type of support to the victim's family," said Box.