Over two years since he was last heard from, a Barbourville man remains missing. Efforts to locate him have intensified greatly on social media as of late.
Kenneth “Kenny” Saunders was last seen on August 15, 2015, and family members and friends are hoping to find their loved one who they believe may have traveled to the Jacksonville, Florida area at the time of his disappearance. Comments were made to friends in the months leading up August 15 that indicated he might be going to Jacksonville as he went back and forth between Kentucky and Florida for work.
Saunders’ wife and high school sweetheart, Sunnie Brock, shared some insight into the months leading up to his disappearance. While Brock and Saunders were married shortly after high school graduation in 2003, their lives took them in separate directions that saw Saunders heading to serve in the Marines.
According to statements made on a websleuths.com Endangered Missing Person post, Saunders reportedly had domestic issues with threats of violence from his girlfriend and her family at the time, though no official reports of these claims were found by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
Brock said Saunders made some comments to her in April 2015 where he sounded stressed, and she asked him if he was okay.
“’At this second no, but I will be…’ I then asked him what was going on and his response was, ‘Haha a very very screwed up story..’,” said Brock. “That was the last indication he gave me that he was in trouble. He would never have gone this long without contacting me if he were able to.” Brock says the last she heard from Saunders was on July 20, 2015 through Facebook Messenger.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of the investigation into Saunder’s disappearance. According to Sheriff Mike Smith, his office has traveled to Tennessee investigating leads and reached out to authorities in Florida where Saunders may have been headed, but as of now, no leads have panned out.
Brock hopes to hear from Saunders soon. “Kenneth and I were high school sweethearts and married right after graduation in 2003. He joined the Marines but due to my own life choices, we split up but continued to be very close,” Brock said. “Throughout the years he and I would reconnect, and it was like no time had passed at all. I was living in Brooklyn, New York working for Teen Challenge when I last heard from him and when he went missing.”
Attempts to contact more of Saunders’ family were unsuccessful as of press time Wednesday.
Saunders is described as a 31-year-old male, with a height of 6’1” and weight ranging from 185-250 lbs. He is Caucasian with brown hair, hazel eyes, and has a lower lip piercing and his last named tattooed across his lower abdomen.
Any information leading to the whereabouts of Kenneth “Kenny” Saunders should be given to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office by calling 606-546-3181.