Donated billboard keeps missing persons in view

Friday, November 11, 2011
A billboard featuring photos of Shelbyville's missing was installed on Madison Street early Thursday morning. (Mook's first name is misspelled.) The sign was donated by the Kristen Foundation. (T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)

A national organization has donated a billboard featuring photos of Shelbyville's Missing.

Installed near the 1200 block of Madison Street facing east, the photos of Bobby Smelcer, Antonio Taylor and Shelley Jones Mook remind drivers of the families who continue to search for their missing loved ones.

The Kristen Foundation is a national non-profit for missing adults named after Kristen Modafferi, missing since 1997. Joan Scanlon-Petruski, a neighbor of the Modafferi family, started the foundation in 1999, and continues to assist the families of missing people throughout the country.

'Important' plea

"When I was contacted by Kristy [Smelcer, sister of Bobby], we thought the request [was] important, and were happy to be able to get the billboard up right away," said Petruski.

"By getting the names and photos of the missing out there as often as we can, our hope is that someone will see it and remember something, or be moved to call and give law enforcement the information they need to bring some answers to the families."

Dusty's Outdoor Media donated the billboard space and rental free of charge.

Search continues

Taylor, then 21, has been missing since Sept. 20, 1999. Smelcer, then 52, went missing Nov. 21, 2010. Mook, then 24, was last seen Feb. 28.

Rewards for information concerning the disappearances of Smelcer and Taylor are $5,000 and $3,000 respectively. Contact the Shelbyville Police Department at 684-5811 or anonymously call Crimestoppers at 685-4300.

The reward for information concerning the disappearance of Mook is $20,000. Contact the Bedford County Sheriff's Department at 684-3232 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

For more information on the Kristen Foundation, visit