Details of Disappearance Burgess was last seen in Nashville, Tennessee on May 23, 2014. She sent a text message to a friend that day, and this is the last time anyone heard from her. She had planned to go to Sparta, Tennessee the next day but never showed up, and when her friends checked her house in the 900 block of Oak Vale Drive they noticed her car was still parked in the driveway with her purse inside it.
The house, which was normally kept tidy, was in disarray. Burgess's two dogs were running loose without any food or water laid out for them, and they had defecated several times on the floor.
Neighbors reported seeing a car they didn't recognize in Burgess's driveway the weekend of her disappearance. One of them, a close friend of Burgess, reported seeing two individuals carrying something heavy out the back door of the house in the early morning hours of May 24. The witness recognized one of the people as Caleb J. Cannon, the father of Burgess's son, who was ten years old at the time of his mother's disappearance.
In October 2015, Cannon was charged with Burgess's murder. He saw their son every other weekend, and she had mentioned him in her final text message and said they were arguing. A photo of Cannon is posted with this case summary. After Burgess's disappearance, their son told a friend he might not see his mother anymore because she was "probably dead" and he thought his father had killed her.
Cadaver-sniffing dogs detected the scent of human remains at both Burgess's home and in the trunk of Cannon's car. Empty bottles of cleaning fluid, brass knuckles and bloodstained bedding were found in Burgess's home after her disappearance. Authorities believe Cannon murdered her inside her home, put her body in the trunk and disposed of it in an unspecified location.
Cannon was tried for Burgess's murder in May 2017; their son testified against him. He maintained his innocence, but the jury convicted him after less than two hours' deliberation. He was given an automatic life sentence.
Foul play is suspected in Burgess's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
- Nashville Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 24, 2017; details of disappearance updated.