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UCSD assisting Washington County in search for missing woman

Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, left, and Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley discuss the search for a missing Telford woman on Thursday morning. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)

From Staff Reports

The Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department is providing support to a fellow agency’s search for a missing Telford woman.

Around 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley met with Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal to provide 4-wheelers and chainsaws to Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies for their use in searching Fire Tower Road and the surrounding area for Lisa Cloyd.

“We talked to her family a couple times this week,” Graybeal said. “They believe, like us, that she is deceased and it was the result of a domestic situation that happened that was probably an accident. We are following up on any and all leads that we can follow up with to see if we can find her remains and give her family closure.”

Graybeal said Fire Tower Road in Washington County is currently closed; this prompted his department to call Hensley for assistance in accessing the road from Unicoi County.

“We are going to look and see what we can find,” Graybeal added. “It’s just a sad situation and we want to get closure for the family. We are doing everything we can do. I appreciate (Sheriff Hensley) being here with us and sharing equipment. He knows more about these mountains than anybody. … It is going to be a hard trip, but we have to go up there and see what we can find.”

Hensley said the search area would be in rough terrain and expected that due to recent high winds fallen trees could block the searchers’ path.

“We have a good working relationship,” Hensley said of his experience with the WCSO. “That is crucial. Being a sheriff you have to have good working relationships with other counties, sheriffs and chiefs of police.”

Family members last heard from Cloyd in July; she was officially reported missing to the WCSO during the first week of August. Graybeal said Thursday during a press conference held prior to the start of the search that his department has previously searched the Nolichucky River looking for Cloyd and clues about her disappearance.

Graybeal also said officers had approached Cloyd’s husband, Curtis Cloyd, last month and attempted to interview him about his wife. However, he reportedly pulled a gun on the officers and ran away from the location. Curtis was eventually located in an abandoned house on Miller Road in Washington County where he locked himself inside. This led to a standoff with WCSO officials that eventually led to his suicide.

“He was our best lead,” Graybeal said. “We were just trying to talk to him and he took his own life.”