HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – Hendersonville Police have re-opened the cold case of a mother who disappeared nearly eight years ago.
No one has seen Salena Tackett in nearly eight years. Her husband told police she just walked out the door and left her two year old child, her purse and a car behind.
New Police Chief Mickey Miller is an expert in cold case investigations. Miller helped solve the murders of Marcia Trimble and Janet March.
He has told Hendersonville detective Jim Vaughn to review the case which includes stacks of evidence. Salena Tackett disappeared from her upscale Hendersonville home in January 2003.
Her husband Tyrone Tackett, who has since moved to Florida, told police his wife just walked out the door the night of January 30, 2003. He filed a missing person report the next day.
"He was putting the small child to bed and later on came back and Salena was missing," Vaughn said.
Salena's friend and next door neighbor Kay Russell said there is someone out there who knows something about her friend's disappearance.
"If something happened to her somebody else has to know. Somebody else has to know," said Russell.
She has kept a newspaper article about the disappearance of her friend and neighbor for nearly 8 years. Russell's daughter once baby sat Salena's 2-year-old daughter.
"She was very pretty. The picture they have of her does not do her justice," Russell said, remembering her friend.
Hendersonville Police investigated the case for several months, but it went cold. Now Miller who became Police Chief last year has told detectives to reopen the Tackett case.
"Our goals are to look back at all that information and see if there's anything we missed along the way," Vaughn said/
Vaughn has placed Salena's information on a billboard in Kentucky. The billboard says she's missing, but Russell fears her fate may have been worse.
"A woman doesn't leave her purse and she doesn't leave her child," Russell added.
She said Salena fought often with her husband, but police have never called Tyrone a suspect in her disappearance. Russell fears Salena is dead because several months after Salena disappeared she never showed up for her child's third birthday party.
She said a woman who used to call babysitters three and four times a night to make sure her child was okay would not miss the party or ever walk out on that child.
Despite her pessimism she knows there's still a glimmer of hope that Salena could someday walk through her door.
"I would love it if she's alive. I would give her the biggest bear hug if she came in," Russell said.
Salena had been married to Tyrone just one week when she disappeared. The couple's 2-year-old child is now ten and is living in Florida with her dad.
Salena also has a son from a previous relationship who is now a teenager and living in Kentucky.
If you have information about the case, call the Hendersonville Police Department.