Additional information is now being released by Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver and Centre Police Chief Kirk Blankenship. According to Cherokee County authorities Investigators are now looking for a person of interest in connection with the death of Melissa Leann Hudgins. Investigators have identifed 37 year old Vennie Leroy Keaton as a person of interest in the case and his whereabouts are unknown at this time. Keaton is currently wanted in Cherokee County and Tennessee on theft related charges.
Hudgins vehicle was found abandoned on the side of the road in Tennessee and was recovered by the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle has since been transported back to Cherokee County and processed by Forensic Investigators with the Calhoun-Cleburne County Violent Crimes Task Force. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Vennie Leroy Keaton contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at (256) 927-3365 or the Centre Police Department at (256) 927-3661. The investigation is still ongoing and more details will be provided as they become available.