Sadie Wallace Nelson

Above: Nelson, circa 1996


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: June 8, 1996 from Benton, Tennessee
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 74 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'6, 130 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Nelson has a gold front tooth. She wears eyeglasses. She may use the last names Cantril, Finnell, Sanford, Thompson and/or White.
  • Medical Conditions: Wallace was taking prescription medication at the time of her disappearance and does not have it with her.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Nelson was last seen in Benton, Tennessee on June 8, 1996. She lived with her boyfriend, 77-year-old John Burlie Pike, on a farm north of town off Highway 411. They were joint caretakers of the property. On the morning of June 9, Pike's body was found in the driveway; he had been beaten and his throat slit. Nelson was missing and the residence was "virtually untouched." She has never been heard from again.

    In December 1996, police thought they had found Wallace after they learned someone was cashing her Social Security checks in Batavia, New York. It turned out Wallace's son was cashing the checks and keeping the money for himself, and he didn't know his mother's whereabouts. She has previously been married six times and is not originally from the Benton area.

    There are no outstanding warrants for Wallace, but authorities would like to question her and see what she knows about Pike's murder. It's unclear whether she also met with foul play. Pike's murder and Wallace's disappearance remain unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Tennessee Bureau of Investigation


    Source Information
    The Knoxville News-Sentinel
    Tenth Judicial District Cold Case Task Force
    The Chattanooga Times Free Press


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 6, 2017; casefile added.

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