‘Living a nightmare’ | Missing East Tennessee man’s mom holds onto hope

A Surgoinsville man named Tommy Albritton, 33, vanished in March from Knoxville, according to the Surgoinsville Police Department.
A Surgoinsville man named Tommy Albritton, 33, vanished in March from Knoxville according to the Surgoinsville Police Department.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 8:56 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2022 at 12:10 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Surgoinsville man named Tommy Albritton, 33, vanished in March from Knoxville, according to the Surgoinsville Police Department. His mom pleaded for help. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting SPD.

The SPD is investigating since he is from there. He was staying at a rehab center in Knoxville at the time of the Hawkins County man’s disappearance.

“It’s like living a nightmare,” Stephanie Jarnigan said about her son, who’s been missing for nearly six months.

Albritton was in rehab in Knoxville at Volunteers for recovery, but the program director, Tina Ahrens, said he had a mental health crisis and did not return to the center.

Aherns described Albritton as “an awesome human being” who “battled his demons while trying desperately to get his life together.”

His mom said it’s not like him to to not be in contact with his family, describing them as close.

Jarnigan said, “He was kind to people, he was lovable, he was funny.”

Jarnigan said she hopes for any answer.

“It’s just really stressful not knowing where your son is at and uh what’s happened to him,” Jarnigan explained, “This kid didn’t just disappear. He didn’t just vanish.”

But the Surgoinsville Police representative said Albritton’s case is open and active. Investigators have not seen activity on his or social media accounts in months.

“I know somebody out there has seen him. I know that somebody knows something. I just feel that in my heart--that somebody out there is holding some very valuable information from us.”

Jarnigan started this GoFundMe in hopes of offering a reward to the person or people who come forward with information about her son’s whereabouts.

Anyone with information can call the Surgoinsville Police Department at 423-345-2316.

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