David McAfee, 31, is a husband and father of three. The family has not been able to contact him since October 28.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It’s been a month since a beloved husband and father of three went missing. David McAfee was last seen on October 28, according to his family members.
“People don’t just walk off the ground,” said his mother, Melissa Gumm. “My son has never, ever called me or texted me or his brother or sister or anyone. Not even Courtney.”
His wife, Courtney Campbell, said they had been together for about a decade and he was her best friend.
“I just love him and miss him so much,” Courtney said. “He was a loving father to three young boys … and those boys need a daddy of their own.”
McAfee’s family said he started the day working on a friend’s truck. They said a neighbor saw him doing it. He then got a ride to a local BP gas station on Asheville Highway around 2:30 in the afternoon, the family said.
“I got out early that day and when I got home she wasn’t there,” Campbell said. “The garage door wasn’t locked and he left both his jackets at home.”
McAfee was last seen in public at a BP gas station off Asheville Highway. According to the video seen by the family, he went inside and bought a pack of cigarettes. That was the last time he was caught on camera.
Around 5:30 p.m. that day, Courtney said she called McAfee to ask where he was. He told her he was still working on the truck. But then at 7:30 p.m. his wife said she had received three messages.
The exact message is below.
“Crash Detected SOS. David McAfee called emergency services from this approximate location after the iPhone detected a crash. You are receiving this message because David has listed you as an emergency contact.”
The message was sent from David’s number. According to Apple, if a person has emergency contacts listed, the crash detection software will notify those people if the software is activated.
However, Jefferson County dispatchers told Courtney there were no reported crashes that night. David never came home.
“The next day I filled in the missing people,” Campbell said.
About a week later, detectives said they found an iPhone sending messages behind Providence Church in Jefferson City. It was off the same path that the crash detection software sent McAfee’s location from.
They said it looked like the phone had been dropped. The family suspects that this may have caused the crash detection.
“There’s a brick wall. You know, the detective is like, ‘Where’s this guy gone?'” Gumm said.
The family said time is slowing down to be homeless, but the search continues. However, they also said it was getting harder.
“We’re all trying. We’ve put up flyers and everything we know to find him,” said his brother, Jason McAfee.
The search hasn’t put their minds at rest, and Gum said the search is getting more desperate. And most of all, she said, his family just wants closure.
“If you have to check your property, someone that’s in lakes and waterways, check in the water and on the banks,” Gum said. — I am asking for help.
Anyone with information on McAfee’s whereabouts should contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The office can be reached at 865-471-6000.
The McAfee family has a search party meeting on Saturday, December 17th at 11am. If anyone wants to help, they will meet at 129 E. Dumplin Valley Road in Kodak, in the left subway parking lot.