JACKSBORO, Tenn. — A Campbell County mother is pleading for anyone with information about what happened to her sons to come forward. They have been missing for more than a month and the only clue about what happened to them is a 2006 maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer left behind.
Scotty and Tracy Hawkins left to go ginseng hunting on August 6. Their truck sits off Highway 116 in Campbell County. The windshield is shattered, just like the heart of their mother, Donna, who waits for her sons to drive the truck back home.
"Been hard," she said. "I pray a lot, I sure have caught up on my praying. No matter how old your children get, you love them."
Scotty and Tracy made their living ginseng hunting, she said. The practice can be traced back to frontiersmen who used it as a medicinal herb. Its roots have also grown in popularity recently.
The brothers grew up in the woods around their home, and Donna said they would be able to find their way off the mountain even if they got turned around. She also said that she didn't know if anyone would ever want to hurt them.
"I always tell them, always that I love them and to be careful and they backed out," said Donna. "And I didn't see them since."
She said goodbye to them on August 6, reminding them that they were due home for dinner. They never returned.
"Something's happened," she said. "Don't know what, but something's happened for them to not be home."
Her niece, Cassie Carroll, has been coordinating with Campbell County Sheriff's Office to find the missing men. Teams have searched the area of the woods they went missing in, but they found nothing.
"Nobody just disappears, something has happened," she said.
Officials said that the searches were difficult due to the challenging terrain in the area, which features rocks and bluffs. But after 48 days, the sheriff's office said that it does not have any new leads.
"I need answers," Donna said. "I'm going to have to be brave for whatever the answer's going to be."
The sheriff's office said that it was planning to host another search for the men, but the searchers caught COVID-19 and forced them to cancel it. The family of Scotty and Tracy said they plan to be back out in the woods over the weekend, combing through the brush to find their missing loved ones.