KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — UPDATE (11/18/2022): Byron Edwards was last reported walking in the area of Riverside Drive in Knoxville. According to reports, he was walking from his girlfriend's home to his grandmother's home.
His phone location last pinged in that area. The family has not heard any new information related to his missing person case. That lack of leads is frustrating for them. They want to encourage people with information to come forward.
Byron went missing in March 2021. A little over a month after he vanished, Byron's girlfriend gave birth to their daughter, Blessing.
Blessing was born with truncus arteriosus. According to the CDC, "Truncus arteriosus is a birth defect of the heart. It happens blood vessel coming out of the heart in the developing baby fails to separate completely during development, leaving a connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery."
Blessing received several heart surgeries following her birth. Her mother, KaNesha Bond has dealt with this all on her own.
"She always finds ways to smile and just you know be happy," KaNesha said.
KaNesha said Byron was excited to be a dad. He went to every doctor's appointment with her and was very excited about his little girl.
"He was at every appointment, he was up there at the screen just looking at it and talking to her," KaNesha said.
His grandmother, Marilyn Hamilton has been looking everywhere for answers to her grandson's disappearance.
"We got him on the national missing person database. We checked all the hospitals, prison facilities, you know, nothing. We even went in homeless camps. Nothing," Marilyn said.
But still, the family is not going to give up hope.
"I still hold on to hope you know that God is gonna give us an answer. You know, it may not have been who we want it. But we as a family, we are looking for some closure," Marilyn said.
It's been six months since 30-year-old Byron Edwards disappeared in East Knoxville.
Family members say he left his girlfriend's house on foot and was never seen again. A month later, police say they have no leads or developments in the investigation of his whereabouts.
Byron's location was last picked up on his cell phone on March 20. It pinned him at the 2300 block of Riverside Drive.
After 30 days of no contact or communication — his family members' worries about his whereabouts have turned into fear.
"He is my grandson. He's 30 years old. He has a gentle spirit," said Marilyn Hamilton. "He was expecting his first child this month, which was born on April 14."
She said he couldn't wait to be a father, and said he was ready to go shopping for a crib and other essentials they would need for their new family.
But on March 20, everything changed. he reportedly walked down Riverside Drive, but his phone never left the area.
"That's when I got really concerned and I started calling all his siblings, all the members of the family, and nobody had heard from him," said Hamilton.
The Knoxville Police Department listed Edwards as a missing person on March 24, but they also said there were no new leads or developments in the investigation in the months since he was reported as missing.
KPD said it has conducted multiple searches through the area without any signs or evidence of what happened to him.
So, the family started taking matters into their own hands.
"When he was missing for over a month, that was kind of a hard pill to swallow without him talking to anyone at all," said Shakita Turner, his cousin.
They started putting up posters of him across Knoxville, asking people to reach out if they have any information about his location. They have also been conducting searches across East Knoxville.
"We just want to keep the community aware that he is still missing, and that we need help," said Turner.
The family is also holding a prayer vigil for Edwards Saturday night at 5 p.m. in Victor Ashe Park. They said they hope people will join them to raise awareness for their missing loved one.
KPD said Edwards has several medical conditions and has likely been without medications since he disappeared.
Anyone with information about his location should reach out to East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers at 865-215-7165 or by reaching out online.