Reward for murder mystery information increased

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) The sister of Shannon Hercutt is hoping money talks. She and Auntie Belham's Cabin Rentals, shannon's former business, added 15 thousand dollars of their own cash to the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a killer. The value of the reward is now 25 thousand dollars. Shannon's sister Penny Stephens says an answer to this murder mystery is priceless.

"What keeps me motivated, is I know my sister would do the same thing for me. And that she wouldn't want me to give up."

Nearly three years ago, authorities found Shannon's SUV crashed, 150 feet below a Smoky Mountain road in Sevier County. Troopers first ruled her death an accident, but an autopsy revealed trauma to the back of the head is the cause of death. investigators say the accident scene had been staged. In addition to the extra reward money, Shannon's family is also pushing authorities to reenergize the case and move it forward. Stephens says she is disappointed an arrest has not been made.

"After three years, you pretty much lose patience. I'm to the point where I've got to do something now to help get justice for my sister."

Shannon's family believes people involved in a business deal with Shannon had something to do with her death. Investigators though have not singled out anyone Penny Stephens is also appealing to Governor Bill Haslam to increase the state's 10 thousand dollar portion of the reward.

If you have any information about the case, please contact the Sevier County Sheriff's Department.