West Tenn. child missing 24 years, case open

UNION CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- As the disappearance of Marlena Childress from her Union City home reaches its 25th anniversary, the lead investigator says he thinks about her every day.

Marlena was three years old when she disappeared on April 16, 1987. A massive search turned up no trace of her. Then, her mother told police she accidentally killed Marlena and put her body in the Obion River -- a confession she soon recanted.

Union City Police Lt. Andy Gibson told KYTN radio investigative techniques have advanced and DNA samples from the child have been put into a national database.

The girl's mother, Pam Bailey, was later convicted in Graves County, Ky., of stabbing her 12-year-old son after taking him to a rural cemetery. The boy got away and survived the attack.

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 147581945 - local8now.com/a?a=147581945
Gray Television, Inc.