tennessee mayor found dead at big south fork
The South Twin Arch at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Scott County, Tenn.; (photo/Brian Stansberry via Wiki Commons)

Former Mayor Found Dead in Tent at Tennessee National Recreation Area

Officials found Lyndon Bill Baines, the former mayor of Jamestown, Tenn., deceased in a tent at a national recreation area last week. Authorities have limited information as a local sheriff’s office continues investigating.

A joint search effort found the remains of Lyndon Baines, 58, inside a tent at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area on June 8. Baines had formerly served as mayor of nearby Jamestown, Tenn., starting in 2018.

Former Mayor Goes Missing

According to local news outlet WKRN, Baines was last seen leaving his home in Jamestown on his motorcycle around 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. The bike was a silver 2006 Aprilia with Tennessee tag 330ZK9.

The Fentress County Sheriff’s Office and Jamestown Police Department first notified the public he was missing on Wednesday, June 8. A missing persons search concluded the next day in Big South Fork State Park, where authorities located Baines’ body in a tent near his motorcycle.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office, which holds jurisdiction over the park, described Baines as between 5’9″ and 5’11” tall, weighing 195-205 pounds. If you have any information, you can call the department at 423-663-3111.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is located near Tennessee’s northern border, 26 miles northeast of Jamestown. The town, where Baines served as a Democratic mayor for 2 years, is home to about 2,000 people.

Town officials appointed Baines to the position on Sep. 24, 2018, after Republican Darlene Davis died after a battle with cancer. Baines ran for re-election in November 2020 but lost the bid to Republican Harvey Stowers. Reportedly, he garnered just 21% of the vote to finish well behind the field.

The Democrat made headlines in 2019. That year, he advocated for intervention at the state government level when the owner of a local emergency clinic closed the facility and refused multiple bids to reopen it, according to local media.

“This should be a bipartisan issue,” Baines said at the time. “No matter what party you’re in, you should care about the health of human beings.”

No further information on Baines’ death was available via the Jamestown Police Department or the Scott County Sheriff’s Office as of publishing this story.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam Anderson is a staff writer at GearJunkie, and several other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about climbing, cycling, running, wildlife, outdoor policy, the outdoor industry, vehicles, and more for 2 years. Prior to GearJunkie, he owned and operated his own business before freelancing at GearHungry. Based in Austin, Texas, Anderson loves to climb, boulder, road bike, trail run, and frequent local watering holes (of both varieties).