Perry County Sheriff's Office


Search & Investigation Continue

If the investigation into the case of a missing Perry County woman results in a suspected homicide, a substantial reward will be offered, Sheriff Nick Weems told the Review, but that determination has not yet been made.

Foul play has not been ruled out because evidence taken from the home suggests that possibility.

Roseanna Zadakaus, 77, has been missing since Wednesday, March 31, 2021—and the search, which has taken place every day since—has been both exhausting and exhaustive.

Authorities are still no closer to determining what happened to the Cypress Creek Road resident, but all the land near her home has been searched thoroughly, as have all the “nooks and crannies” along the water from Cypress Creek to Lady’s Bluff.

The effort has been a real lesson in teamwork, with assistance coming from throughout the immediate area, the region, and from as far away as Kentucky. The vast majority of those individuals who have offered their help have done so without compensation, Sheriff Weems said.

At this point, authorities will keep watch on the main channel of the Tennessee River, and continue to investigate the disappearance, following leads, conducting interviews, and waiting for evidence to be returned from the state crime lab.

Zadakaus was last seen on March 31 by her garbage man at around 1:00 p.m. He told authorities that she was wearing a rain jacket and rubber boots.Those clothing items were found inside the home, and her empty garbage can had been retrieved. Her vehicles were still parked at the residence.

Neighbors who had not seen Zadakaus for a few days began calling her, but were unable to reach her by phone. A neighbor who went to the home to check on her found the screen door on the porch unlocked, and when he knocked on her front door, it opened on its own.

Sheriff Weems said he learned from those who know Zadakaus that she rarely used the front door of her home, and that the screen door on the porch typically remained locked and unopened. The Sheriff said she usually used a side door to enter her home from the carport.

Boats were on the water this past weekend, but Sheriff Weems said, “We have searched all the areas we feel like she could be if she is in the water.”

Underwater and overhead drones have been employed, divers have searched, bloodhound and cadaver dogs have been brought to the scene, the THP helicopter has flown the area three times, and sonar technology has even been utilized.

“Everywhere reasonable, if she was placed in the water or fell in accidentally, has been checked. There’s really nothing to indicate that Mrs. Zadakaus is in the water, but every time there’s flood waters and someone is missing, that’s where we find them, so we have to check,” Sheriff Weems explained.

Areas unreachable by boat or typical vehicle have been accessed by a Perry County Rescue Squad amphibious unit.

On the low end, the Sheriff estimated that the search has amassed 2,800 hours, based on ten twelve- to fourteen-hour days by multiple agencies and individuals, but he suspects the man-hours are much higher.
The current water tempe-rature is 56 degrees; at that temperature, it would take ten to fourteen days before a body surfaced, the Sheriff said.

An investigative team led by the Sheriff, and including Chief Deputy Bart Rosson, and officers Rosanna Weems, Kurt Mercer, Charlie Jones, Kirk Wood, and Steve Yahnke holds roundtable meetings, takes assignments, follows leads, and reports findings.

In addition to individuals and neighbors who have volunteered to help, the effort has included fire and rescue teams from Hardin County, Tennessee City, Decatur County, Henderson County, Williamson County, and Montgomery County, with the assistance of the TWRA, TBI, THP, TEMA, and a private bloodhound handler from Kentucky.

Sheriff Weems said EMA Director Gary Rogers and Perry County Rescue Squad members have been on scene every day. The FBI—while not here on the ground—have helped with tracking evidence.

Mrs. Zadakaus and her late husband Kelly retired to Perry County. He was a former TEMA director serving this region.

Sheriff Weems asked that anyone with any information that might be helpful to please call his office at 931-589-8803.

Reprinted from the Buffalo River Review, April 14, 2021, edition with permission.

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