Chase Stafford was a 25-year-old woman from Cheatham County, Tennessee, who went missing on May 10, 2023. Her body was found in the Cumberland River below Cheatham Dam on May 18, 2023. The cause and manner of her death are still unknown and under investigation. Here are some of the facts and details that have emerged so far about this tragic case.
Chase Stafford’s Disappearance
According to a missing person’s poster, Stafford was last seen on May 10, 2023, after she was dropped off on Chapmansboro Road in Ashland City by a friend. Her backpack, containing her phone, glasses, and other personal items, was found later that day on Highway 49 by a passerby. The backpack was returned to her family before she was reported missing on May 11, 2023.
The Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office launched a search for Stafford, with the help of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. They used helicopters, drones, boats, dogs, and volunteers to comb the area where she was last seen and the nearby river.
Chase Stafford’s Body Recovery
Stafford’s body was recovered from the Cumberland River below Cheatham Dam on May 18, 2023. Her remains had apparently been trapped under debris that had accumulated in front of the dam. During a routine clearing of that debris by opening the flood gates, her body was able to rise to the surface around 7:30 a.m., authorities reported.
The Tennessee Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed her identity on May 19, 2023. However, the cause and manner of her death have not been determined yet and are pending further exam results.
Chase Stafford’s Investigation
The Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office is still considering this to be an active investigation and has shifted its focus to the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and death. They are asking anyone who may have had contact with Stafford between May 9 and May 11, 2023, to contact them at (615)792-2021 or (615)792-2098.
They are also thanking the public for their assistance and support during the search for Stafford. A GoFundMe page has been set up by one of her aunts to help pay for her memorial service, which is scheduled for May 24, 2023.
Chase Stafford’s Family and Friends
Stafford’s family and friends are mourning her loss and remembering her as a loving, caring, and adventurous person. Her mother, Daphne Gillihan, described her as “a free spirit” who loved nature, animals, music, and art. Her father, Chris Stafford, said she was “a beautiful soul” who had a lot of potential. Her sister, Chelsea Stafford, said she was “the best sister anyone could ask for” and that they had a special bond.
Stafford also had a boyfriend, Tyler Smith, who said he was “devastated” by her death and that they had planned to get married someday. He said they met online in January 2023 and had an instant connection. He said they shared a lot of interests and hobbies, such as hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, and photography.
Stafford’s family and friends are hoping for justice and closure in her case. They are also asking for prayers and respect during this difficult time.
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