Vehicle of missing person located, investigation into missing man and escaped inmate continues

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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A vehicle associated with a missing person report has been located in South Carolina, and the investigation into the missing person and an escaped Carter County inmate is continuing.

“We are investigating both cases aggressively,” said Carter County Sheriff Mike Fraley. “We are continuing to work hundreds of tips we have received and filter through those, and we are still asking the public to provide any information they may have regarding the whereabouts of either Victor Birchfield or Billy Fletcher.”

What began as two separate investigations has now crossed over into a possibly overlapping case.

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On June 20, Billy Fletcher, 43, of Butler, walked off from his work detail at the Carter County Detention Center shortly after 7 a.m. Fletcher was serving a three-year sentence for a violation of probation conviction.

On June 21, a woman reported to the CCSO that her father, 61-year-old Victor Birchfield, had been missing since June 19. Birchfield is described as a white male with grey hair and hazel eyes, approximately 5’6” tall and weighing around 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing an orange or red shirt, grey basketball shorts, leather shoes, and black socks. He was reported to be traveling in a silver 2004 Toyota 4Runner.

As investigators worked on both cases, it became apparent that the disappearance of Birchfield may have some connection to the escape of Fletcher.

“We are now working on two cases we feel are connected in some shape, form, or fashion,” Sheriff Fraley said. “Without divulging too much, information was discovered that led us to believe these two cases have crossed over. We believe that at some point following his escape, Fletcher came into contact with Mr. Birchfield.”

A confirmed sighting of Birchfield’s vehicle was reported in the Clemson, S.C., area following his disappearance, and his vehicle has now been located in South Carolina.

On June 24, Billy Fletcher was captured on video leaving a store in Greenville County, S.C.

“We are still putting a timeline of events together as we confirm information, but at this time we will not be releasing specific information on the timelines of these cases as these investigations are active and ongoing,” Sheriff Fraley said. “When we are able to piece together more facts, we will release additional details on these investigations.”

The CCSO is working with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on this case along with both state and local law enforcement agencies in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Victor Birchfield is asked to contact the Carter County Sheriff’s Office at 423-542-1845.

The public is advised not to approach Billy Fletcher if they see him. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Billy Fletcher in Tennessee is asked to contact the CCSO at 423-542-1845 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. Anyone with information regarding Billy Fletcher’s whereabouts in South Carolina is asked to contact the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division by calling 803-737-9000 or emailing