ROGERSVILLE — Police are trying to determine if a stolen SUV found burning in a rural area of Hawkins County Sunday evening was arson and if a working cell phone found on the ground near the burnt car is a link to the culprits.
Around 7:17 p.m. Sunday, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bobby Moffitt was dispatched to a vehicle fire complaint at 275 Opossum Hollow Road, which is located just off of Burem Board to the southeast of Rogersville.
Moffitt stated in his report that when he arrived on the scene the car, a 2013 Nissan Rogue, was fully engulfed in flames.
The Striggersville Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene to extinguish the fire.
A cell phone found on the ground near the driver’s side of the burned vehicle was intact. Moffitt stated in his report that the phone was listed as belonging to Ellen Erica Locke of Johnson City.
Moffitt said attempts to contact Locke were unsuccessful.
After the fire was extinguished, Moffitt located a vehicle VIN.
A computer check revealed the vehicle to be registered to Tina Holmes of Gray.
Moffitt stated in his report he hadn’t been able to contact Holmes, but shortly before midnight Sunday he was contacted by the Bristol (Va.) Police Department about a stolen vehicle report.
Holmes had reportedly told Bristol, Va. police she was playing Bingo Sunday evening, and when she left around 9:30 p.m. she noticed her vehicle missing.
Bristol police reported to Moffitt that Holmes stated she didn’t leave a cell phone in her car when it was stolen.
HCSO Chief Deputy Tony Allen told the Times-News Monday the investigation is ongoing to determine if the fire was an arson and if the cell phone found at the scene was stolen.
The value of the Nissan Rogue was reported at $19,500.