Shelia Faye Bradford

Bradford, circa 1992

  • Missing Since 09/21/1992
  • Missing From Camden, Tennessee
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 33 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2 - 5'3, 110 - 120 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A teal green top, possibly black shorts, and no shoes.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Bradford was last seen on Little Jim Drive in Camden, Tennessee between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. on September 21, 1992. She stopped answering calls after 10:30 a.m. After her disappearance, her vehicle was found at her sister's home with the keys in the ignition.

On September 18, three days prior to her disappearance, Bradford had gone to the police and offered to provide information about the double murder of Danny Vine and his fiancee, Della Thornton, who were killed in Camden in 1991.

Bradford met with authorities at a popular local restaurant, taking her daughter with her. She was afraid for her life and asked for witness protection, but the police said they wouldn't be able to help her. During their meeting, there was an explosion in a building out behind the restaurant and it burst into flames. Bradford threw her daughter to the floor and said, "He knows we're here. We must leave." That night she went to stay with her sister, and sent her daughter to stay with the child's father.

On the morning of her disappearance, Bradford decided to go back to her house to pick up some clothes and do some laundry. She had $700 in cash she planned to deposit at the bank, but had to wait until her jeans finished drying. She left all her clothes, shoes and money behind and has never been heard from again.

In November 1993, the Gary Charles Bruce, Robert H. Bruce and Jerry Lee Bruce were indicted for Thornton and Vine's murders, as was their neighbor, David Riales. Gary escaped from jail in July 1994 and was at large until September 1995, when he was arrested in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bruce brothers and Riales were convicted of the murders, and the Bruce brothers' mother, Mary Kathleen Bruce Ryion, was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in the case. They were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

A fourth brother, J.C. Bruce, Bradford's former boyfriend, was suspected of having played a role in the homicides as well, but he was never charged. He had a conviction for abducting and raping a teenage girl before he met Bradford. In 1993 he pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges, in 2000 he was convicted of assault and in 2015 he was arrested for poaching. He has never been charged in Bradford's case, but her family believes he may have abducted and killed her to keep her from revealing what she knew about Thornton and Vine's murders.

Bradford's case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Benton County Sheriff's Office 731-584-4632

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 20, 2020; casefile added.