Months after her sudden disappearance, Knoxville police identified the body found at a Tennessee residence as that of Desheena Kyle on Thursday, WVLT reports. The 26-year-old was reported missing by her grandmother on June 28, telling officers she hadn’t seen or spoken to her for five days.
Three months after her disappearance, officials declared her case a possible homicide and named her boyfriend a person of interest.
Kyle’s family responded to the devastating announcement, telling Knox News that they’re hoping to see justice. They also credited the community for making sure the case remained at the forefront of everyone’s attention.
“We weren’t going to let that happen. If it was not for the community of Knoxville helping to look for her and keep her name alive, as well as the news coverage, we might still be waiting for answers. We could not have done this alone and now we see how much it makes a difference,” Kyle’s aunt, Rita Turner, said.
Kyle’s cousin, Shakita Turner, said that while there is some relief in finally locating her family member, the pain of the loss still hits hard.
“This has been a long investigation and we are no longer wondering where she is. We found her and now demand justice,” she added.
Police say Kyle was in a relationship with 29-year-old John Bassett at the time of her disappearance. Bassett has been in custody since July 7 for a probation violation. He later faced additional drugs and weapons charges. Kyle’s family seems certain Bassett was somehow involved in her disappearance and death.
“Bassett undoubtedly has something to do with it,” her aunt told WVLT in August.
At the time, Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas promised the family that the department would continue pressing for answers in her case.
“I cannot fathom the intense emotions and grief that Desheena’s family has experienced over the past three months,” said Knoxville Police Chief Eve Thomas. “We are in complete support of the family’s efforts to find Desheena and involve the community in those efforts to bring Desheena home.”
“The KPD has never tired on this case and will continue to work vigorously to find Desheena,” Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “We have developed significant leads and made substantial progress on this case. We have also received numerous tips on the case, and we know that there are people still out there who have answers. We ask anyone who has information that could assist investigators to please come forward.”