Sheriff provides update on missing man and escaped inmate

Published 7:31 pm Monday, July 1, 2024

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Sheriff Mike Fraley provided an update Monday on the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Victor Birchfield and the escape of inmate Billy Fletcher from his work detail at the Carter County Detention Center.

“We are continuing to investigate in conjunction with other local and state agencies as well as authorities in other states,” Fraley said. “We believe that at some point following the escape of Fletcher that he came into contact with Mr. Birchfield.”

The search for Victor Birchfield, reported missing by his family on June 21, continues with help from South Carolina law enforcement agencies. Birchfield, 61, was last seen on June 19 in Elizabethton, Tenn., and is believed to be traveling in a silver 2004 Toyota 4Runner with noticeable rear damage. He has a medical condition that may impair his ability to return home safely. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a Silver Alert for Birchfield on June 21.

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A confirmed sighting of Birchfield’s vehicle in Clemson, S.C., has prompted collaboration between the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and South Carolina authorities.

Fletcher, 43, of Butler, escaped from his work detail on June 20. The Carter County Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to his location and return.

Anyone with information on Birchfield or Fletcher’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Carter County Sheriff’s Office at 423-542-1845 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.