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The Vanished | Chadwick Carr and the one flip-flop left behind

The disappearance of Chadwick Carr has family members puzzled two years later.
Credit: WBIR

CLINTON, Tenn. — Family members reported 32-year-old Chadwick (Chad) Carr missing almost two years ago. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance are troubling to Chad's loved ones. Authorities have generated a few leads in his missing person case. They also said need the public's help to move forward.

Chadwick is just one of 690 people who are unaccounted for in the state of Tennessee. His family joins almost 700 others who have no idea whether their loved one is alive or dead.

In two years, Chad's mom, Christa Carr, has grown accustomed to waiting.

"I do not wish this pain on any parent. Especially somebody's mom," Christa said.

She has photos of Chad spread throughout her home. Most are in frames, some in scrapbooks, and others hung on the wall.

"He was just the most loving, outgoing person you'd ever want to meet. He always greeted me with hugs and a kiss," Christa said. "This was the type of mom-and-son relationship where we were really close. I always knew what was going on with him good or bad. And I was always willing to help."

Chad lived with her for a while during his adult life. The 32-year-old didn't always have it easy, Christa said.

"Drugs, in a nutshell. Had it not been for that, you know? I think he'd still be here," she said.

Chad's sister Whitney Blue echoed that.

"He kept it away from us for so many years. We got a big gist of it maybe a year and a half before he went missing," Whitney said.

However, things were turning around for Chad. He was introduced to a sober-living community in Clinton called the Foundation Recovery House. The home is off rural Dutch Valley Road. The program is three months long and Alan Roberts runs it.

"I wanted to kind of have my own way to help people. It's so important to break that cycle of addiction, and to have a place to do that in a recovery community," Alan said.

Alan said through the recovery house, Chadwick got connected to employment. He even saved up enough money to buy a van. 

"Everybody really liked him a lot. He's really outgoing, hard work. And he was serious about his recovery," Alan said. "He had money saved up, he had bought a vehicle. He was really progressing and working towards moving out."

Christa said her son was doing well.

"The transportation was surprising to me,"  Christa said. "He was really working toward a lot of stuff and doing really well."

On May 1, 2021, everything changed. A phone call between Chad and his sister Whitney would become the last known communication with him.

Whitney said she was just calling to check in on him.

"It wasn't a long conversation. He walked outside and was talking to somebody outside … I'm not sure who it was," Whitney said. "But, I heard him talking to somebody. I kept calling his name, but he wouldn't reply."

Whitney said Chad remained on the line but seemed to have put down the phone. His voice was faint on the other end. She said he was clearly talking to somebody else, so she hung up the phone.

"So I hung up and called back. He didn't answer," she said.

That phone call was around 8 p.m. at night, Whitney said.

She also said, the next day around 3 p.m., one of Chadwick's friends at the recovery house called her to say Chad hadn't shown up for a group meeting in the morning. He also didn't show up for work that afternoon.

Alan said Chad left his phone, wallet, van keys, van, and one flip-flop in the grass at the front of the house. But, Chad was nowhere to be seen.

"I did get kind of scared. I got really scared," Christa said.

Allen said the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, alongside other agencies, came out to the recovery house property to search. He said they questioned everyone at their multiple times, including him.

"There were probably 15+ police cars there. Over a three-day span, they had cadaver dogs. They had Morgan County, Campbell County, and Anderson County deputies who had all come together. They had drones, divers and people searching everywhere," Alan said. "No trace."

That the family knows of, Chad's last call was placed to his sister. Nobody else.

"I think somebody did something to Chad. I can't get past that. He's somewhere. You don't just vanish. Whether it's him, or just the remains, he is somewhere," Christa said.

She's spent two years waiting to figure out where he is.

"He's still not here. I'm still going through that. I wake up in the morning and he's still not here. That memory is still fresh," she said.

Whitney agreed. It's been hard without her brother.

"It's the hardest thing I've ever encountered in life. Period. It's numb. I'm to the point where I'm I've numbed myself to it," Whitney said.

All they want is closure.

"I can't explain to you how I feel, there's an empty space that needs to be filled," Christa said, "And, I can't fill it."

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