Details of Disappearance
Hearon called his two sons that morning on August 23, 2008 and told them he was going from his condo in Maryville, Tennessee to his hundred-acre farm in Happy Valley in Tallahassee, Tennessee to mow. There isn't any cellular phone service there and Hearon often worked outside, out of earshot of his house phone, so he always let his children know when he was going there. Hearon went to one son's home, picked up the mower and loaded it onto his trailer. At 11:00 a.m., neighbors saw Hearon leave his home on Bell Branch Road in Tallahassee, driving his green four-wheel drive Yamaha Wolverine all-terrain vehicle (ATV). He waved to them as he left. He has never been heard from again.
Friends went to Hearon's farm the next day and noticed his truck was parked at the end of the road with the windows rolled down, the trailer still attached and the mower on the trailer. He normally parked his truck at the end of the road, detached the trailer and then drove closer to the house. Hearon's parents live near his farm. They went to his house on August 24, but didn't knock on the door or go inside. The day after that, they noticed his truck still parked at the end of the road and went looking for him on the property but couldn't find him, and they noticed the lawn hadn't been mowed. Hearon's son checked his Maryville condo and found Hearon's car and motorcycle in the garage and nothing out place. Hearon's keys, cellular phone, money clip, credit cards, driver's license, cash and gun were inside his truck in Tallahassee. Only one of his ATVs was missing.
Hearon's family notified police of his disappearance at this time. On August 26, the missing ATV was found abandoned and undamaged about a mile from his home. It was parked in high gear on a steep hill, in a location Hearon normally didn't visit. The ignition switch was left on, which is uncharacteristic of Hearon. There was no sign of him at the scene.
Hearon graduated from Lanier High School in eastern Tennessee. After high school he worked for the park service trimming trails, then founded a successful home construction business, Michael Hearon Builders, with his sons. He enjoys being outdoors and working on his farm. Hearon's loved ones stated he was behaving normally before his disappearance and wasn't depressed or suicidal. His family stated he has no known enemies and it's uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning. His case remains unsolved.