Marsha Ellen Brantley

Marsha, circa 2009; Donnie Ray Brantley

  • Missing Since 05/15/2009
  • Missing From Cleveland, Tennessee
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 02/28/1959 (59)
  • Age 51 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 125 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Light brown hair, blue eyes. Marsha's maiden name is Rader and some accounts refer to her as Marsha Rader Brantley.

Details of Disappearance

Marsha was last seen in Cleveland, Tennessee sometime in late May or early June 2009. She lived with her husband of nine years and three dogs in the Benwood subdivision of Cleveland at the time of her disappearance. Her parents are deceased and she has no children.

A friend reported Marsha missing in November 2009, after months without contact. When questioned by police, her husband, Donnie Ray Brantley, stated she had simply left him and they planned to get a divorce. Investigators searched her home for evidence, but didn't find anything.

Prior to her disappearance, Marsha enjoyed spending time in an RV she owned in Townsend, Tennessee. Authorities were unable to find the RV until November 2012, when it turned up on property owned by Donnie's family. Donnie was arrested at that time and charged with hindering a creditor; authorities believe he was hiding the vehicle to keep it from being repossessed.

In August 2013, Donnie was additionally charged with Marsha's murder. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. The charges were dropped for lack of evidence in 2014, but Donnie was charged with murder again in December 2016. The prosecution dropped the case again in February 2018, but the charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning Donnie could be charged a third time if more evidence surfaces.

Marsha previously worked for Lee University. She enjoys hiking and other outdoor pursuits, and she is an award-winning writer. She is childless, her parents died in 2000, and she wasn't close to any of her blood relatives; it wasn't for several months that her aunt in North Carolina found out she had disappeared.

Although her body has never been found, foul play is suspected in Marsha's case due to the circumstances involved.

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 26, 2018; details of disappearance updated.