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Haslam Offers Reward in Stewart Co. Double Homicide Cold Case

Allison Crawford, WKMS

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is offering a $5,000 dollar reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for the kidnapping and murder of two sisters in northwestern Tennessee more than three decades ago.

Haslam made the announcement Tuesday.

Carla Atkins and Vickie Stout, ages 14 and 16 of Stewart County disappeared in September, 1980. Law enforcement initially thought they were runaways until their bodies were found 18 days later in Land Between the Lakes. Both girls had been killed at close range with a shotgun.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been working on the case ever since.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has recently agreed to assist in the case after a push by local residents.

District Attorney General Ray Crouch has been working on the case since elected into office in 2014. He said in an interview last year working with the FBI allows for additional resources and funding that wouldn’t otherwise be available.

“For example, it’s a very costly undertaking to track down witnesses. There was a particular witness that at one point moved to Alaska. He was a federal employee and we wanted to ask this guy some questions. He was at the crime scene on the day that the bodies were discovered,” Crouch said. 

Crouch has said the case needs to be reworked starting at ‘square one.’

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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