Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Published 1:09 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

A second person continued to be sought Friday in the death of a Roan Mountain man whose remains were found buried in a freezer on property in Hampton.

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Jim Chambers, 37, of Hampton, was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Most Wanted List on Wednesday and the agency said the public should consider him armed and dangerous. By making the list, the TBI added $2,500 to the $1,000 reward offered by Carter County Sheriff’s Office for information leading to Chambers’ arrest.

Chambers’ last known address was 125 Mike Clawson Road in Hampton but is believed by law enforcement to have family in Roan Mountain and Virginia. He is being sought on charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.

Joey Lee Guinn, 46, 125 Mike Clawson Road, Hampton, was jailed on May 15 on charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence after authorities discovered the remains believed to be those of 64-year-old Edward H. Elliot.

According to an affidavit, Elliott’s daughter reported to the Sheriff’s Office on March 31 that she last had contact with her father on Jan. 28 via Facebook Messenger. The daughter said she had last physically seen him about a week prior to that contact. On April 1, a woman who said she receives Elliott’s mail filed a missing person’s report with the Elizabethton Police Department, stating she had not seen him since the middle or end of January. 

Acting on an anonymous tip, Sheriff’s Office investigators – assisted by the Elizabethton Police Department, the TBI, and Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy Wayne Wilhoit and his K-9 partner, Ruger, a cadaver detection canine – executed search warrants on May 15 at Guinn’s home and nearby properties. Carter County Sheriff Mike Fraley said other agencies assisting at the scene included the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Carter County Rescue Squad, and the William L. Jenkins Forensic Center at East Tennessee State University.

During the search, which Fraley said eventually encompassed about 17 acres, Ruger alerted to the presence of human remains in an area. Investigators then probed and scanned the area with a metal detector, which indicated there was a metal object beneath the soil. 

“Several hours later, a box was exhumed, and a human body was found in the tub, a small freezer,” Fraley said. “We tentatively believe that the body was the missing person.”

Guinn was taken into custody the evening of May 15 and was transported to the Carter County Detention Center. Guinn was arraigned May 16 before Carter County General Sessions Court Judge Keith Bowers Jr., who set the bond at $5 Million. 

The lead investigator is CCSO Investigator Roger Brown.