Friends and family are desperately seeking information about Tim Wilson, 37, who has been missing in the Nashville area since April 22. His loved ones thought he had just gone camping until he didn’t return. His phone’s mysterious reappearance deepened his family’s concern. Now, a Facebook page has been set up to try to locate Tim, and searches are underway in the region where he was last seen.
Here is what we know so far about Tim Wilson and what has happened. This is a developing story.
1. Tim Wilson’s Car Was Found at Shelby Park in Nashville
Tim Wilson has been missing since Sunday, April 22. Today marks one week that he has been gone. Tim’s girlfriend, Lauren Fransen, wrote on Facebook that she thought he had gone camping at first, but she began to worry when she never heard back from him. Law enforcement and friends have been searching Shelby Park, where his car was found. It’s not known why Tim was there. She wrote on Facebook several days ago: “As of this morning, new information came to light to make this a more serious case. Police are looking for him and his car has been found. I filed a missing persons report this morning.”
Tim’s wallet was in his car, and nothing abnormal was found in his vehicle, Lauren shared on Instagram. Since Saturday, April 21, Tim has not been on social media, used his Gmail account, or used any bank cards, his girlfriend said.
Tim Wilson is 5’9″, thin build, and 140 pounds, according to the Facebook page set up to help find him. He has brown hair with some grey in it, and almost always wore his hair in a bun. He has a tattoo on his left hand of an eye, and a script tattoo on his right shoulder, going down his arm.
Tim typically wore a nose ring and, as one friend said: “To the best of our knowledge, yes (he was wearing it). He never took it out. For years.”
Tim was known to go off paths when he went hiking, so people are searching all areas of Shelby Park extensively, and drones were flying over thick brush to try to spot him.
2. Tim Wilson’s Phone Was Mailed to a Friend
In a strange turn of events, Tim Wilson’s cell phone was recovered after it was mailed to a friend. According to a Facebook page set up to help find Tim, they are searching the phone for any details that might help locate him. They said if people notice their calls or texts to Tim are going through, that’s because they have his phone and are using it to try to determine clues about what happened to him.
When the news about the phone was first announced, it wasn’t clear who mailed Tim’s phone or which friend received the phone. However, the Facebook page dedicated to finding Tim later confirmed that it was Tim himself who mailed the phone, along with a note and some of his personal belongings, to a friend.
According to the Facebook page: “As for Tim’s phone, we know Tim packaged and mailed his phone, along with some other personal items to his friend. We are in the process of getting ahold of the security cam footage from the post office to provide further confirmation. There was a note included in the package in Tim’s handwriting. We’re not at liberty to discuss the other contents of the package or note, but can confirm that Tim packaged and mailed it.”
Lauren said she went onto Tim’s Facebook to look for any hints or to see if he had messaged anyone there, but found nothing.
Tim is a musician, and people who have toured with him are also sharing posts, worried about his well-being.
You can see him playing his guitar here:
A photo of him playing at a festival in 2012:
According to Tim’s Facebook, he owns a business in Nashville called Music City Guitars and Gear.
3. Friends & Police Have Been Searching Shelby Park
The police have launched an intense search for Tim using boats to search the nearby river with sonar equipment, and also using dogs, horses, helicopters, and drones for land searches. Friends, family and other volunteers have joined in the massive search. They have been scouring Shelby Park on foot, with the help of detectives in charge of Tim’s case. The map above shows the area they had searched as of Saturday, April 28. The area in green indicates what has been covered by air or by foot, and the rest is what still needs to be searched. A local marathon was in Shelby Park on Saturday and runners were told to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
Lauren said that Tim is “the sweetest and most gentle soul I’ve ever known.”
4. Tim Was in a Distraught State of Mind When He Was Last Seen
Tim’s girlfriend, Lauren, said that he was in a distraught state of mind when she last saw him, WKRN reported, which was part of the reason why she was so worried.
Rebekah Songer wrote on Facebook that Tim was her former partner for around four years, and she was always scared he might disappear. She wrote: “The circumstances surrounding his disappearance sound like the nightmare I feared for much of our time together. He often secludes himself in nature when his mind feels messy, isolating himself from human contact.”
5. Several People Have Reported Seeing Someone Who Looks Like Tim Wilson, But None of the Reports Were Verified
Several people have reported spotting persons who resemble Tim Wilson, but none have been confirmed. Reports of missing people being seen aren’t uncommon during cases like these, but many, sadly, don’t end up leading anywhere significant. However, law enforcement are following up on every possible sighting that might be Tim, just in case. The Tim Wilson Facebook page noted that there was a possible sighting in Portland, Tennessee a few days ago. They spoke to the couple who saw the man and sent police to the area, but couldn’t confirm if it was Tim.
Scott McDougal said on April 27 that a man contacted him who believed he saw Tim Wilson on Wednesday, a few days after he disappeared. The man said he saw someone who looked like Wilson around 10 p.m., approximately one hour after McDougal thought he might have seen Wilson on his property. However, the man they saw had apparently been recently released recently from Sumner County Jail and was not Tim.
Toni Jewell also shared the following possible sighting on April 27: “I live in the Lockeland Springs neighborhood just off the 10th Hole of the Shelby Golf Course. About 15 minutes ago as my friend and I were walking our dogs, a man walked out of the entrance to the Lockeland Springs Park. He was carrying a guitar case and headed toward 19th and Holly St. He did not have hair long enough to put in a bun and wasn’t disheveled or anything like that, but he did not say hello, didn’t pause for the dogs, just kept his head down and headed up the street. He was a good looking guy, as is Tim, and had the same hair color.”
Police are following up on all possible sightings. If you see anyone who looks like Tim Wilson, please call the East Nashville police at 615-862-8600.