Authorities asking for help in search for missing Unicoi man

Sue Guinn Legg • Nov 2, 2019 at 4:05 PM

UNICOI — The search for a 35-year-old Unicoi man who went missing from his home early Wednesday morning entered its fourth day on Saturday.

Community members were asked to meet at Marbleton Freewill Baptist Church at 1703 Marbleton Road.

The church is being used as a staging area for the search for Lucas Vance, who Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said was last heard from just after midnight.

Unicoi Police Chief Andy Slagle said the circumstances surrounding Vance’s disappearance are unusual and there is reason to believe he may be in danger.

“He just left, which is very unusual for him. It’s just very unusual circumstances,” Slagle said.

In addition to the  Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department and Unicoi Police Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, members of the Unaka Mountain Search & Rescue unit and a large number of community volunteers have been involved in the search.

“It’s a tight-knit community. Everyone knows everybody. And there have been a lot of citizen volunteers out looking,” Slagle said.

According to Slagle, Vance is very familiar with the forested area near home in the Marbleton Road section of the county where the search has been concentrated. “We’ve been up on Unaka Mountain and all over the Marbleton area,” he said.

Search dogs and a backcountry horseback riding group were to join the search on Saturday and Slage said other riders who can assist are encouraged to bring their horses to help.

Anyone with any information about Vance’s whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 423-743-1850.