Name: Marsha Ellen Brantley (maiden name Rader)
Age: 50 years old
Last seen: June or July 2009
Location: Cleveland, Tennessee
Status: Still Missing
50-year-old Marsha Brantley was last seen in Cleveland, Tennessee around June or July of 2009. She was not initially reported missing because her husband claimed she left voluntarily.
Marsha Ellen Brantley was born in Illinois on February 28, 1959. Her parents are deceased, and she has no siblings or children.
On March 31, 2000, Marsha married Donnie Brantley and the couple moved into the house that her parents had built for her in Cleveland, Tennessee.
By the end of that year both of her parents passed away from cancer, dying within weeks of each other. With the large inheritance she received, Marsha helped her husband set up a handyman business franchise.
Marsha later quit her job as housing director at Lee University to pursue her passion in young adult novel writing. During that time, she kept a blog called “The Magpie’s Nest” where she recounted small anecdotes of her day to day life.
In 2007, Marsha and her friends formed a writer’s group called Thunder Rock Writers Group. She wrote “Dirty Little Secrets,” a short story which came in second place in a national competition in 2008.
At the time of her disappearance, Marhsa was living with her husband Donnie and their three foster dogs in the Benwood subdivision of Cleveland, Tennessee. She was passionate about writing, gardening, and outdoor activities.
In March 2009, Marsha reported to friends that she was feeling “so depressed she couldn’t get off the couch.”
In April 2009, Marsha appeared troubled and depressed when she told her hairdresser that her husband’s handyman business was failing. She was expected to set up an appointment about six weeks later, but never returned.
On June 2, 2009, Marsha was last heard from when she wrote a social media post saying “Are ALL the planets out of alignment? Why is EVERYTHING that can go wrong going wrong for the past month?”
Marsha Brantley hasn’t been seen or heard from since. She was not out walking her dogs as usual, and the flowers in her yard were dying.
In July or August of 2009, her husband Donnie told one of their neighbors that Marsha had left him and that they were in the process of divorcing.
In November 2009, her hairdresser filed a missing person’s report with the Cleveland Police Department after months of no contact.
Marsha Brantley left behind most of her personal belongings at home, including her cell phone, clothes, and car. After analyzing her cell phone records, authorities determined that she went missing sometime between June 2, 2009 and July, 2009.
Donnie told authorities that he didn’t report his wife’s disappearance because she had voluntarily left him. He later gave contradicting reports about where she had gone and the belongings she had taken with her.
Donnie Brantley is suspected in the disappearance of his wife Marsha. The couple’s marriage was reportedly troubled at the time because his failing business franchise was draining Marsha’s inheritance.
In August 2013, Donnie Brantley was arrested and charged for the murder of his wife Marsha Brantley. The charges were later dismissed due to lack of evidence in May 2014.
In December 2016, Donnie Brantley was again arrested and charged with the murder of his wife but the charges were dropped again in February 2018 due to lack of evidence.
Foul play is suspected in Marsha Brantley’s disappearance, but authorities found no physical evidence of foul play or a crime scene.
The circumstances of Marsha Brantley’s disappearance remain unclear and her case is currently classified as missing. Her case remains unsolved.
White female born on February 28, 1959 with brown hair and blue eyes. Marsha stands 5’8 tall and weighs 125 pounds.
Distinctive Physical Features:
No information available.
Clothing and accessories:
No information available.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Marsha Ellen Brantley please contact the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 728-7330 or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at (423) 634-3044.
Resources & Further Information
Marsha Ellen Brantley #MP8786 – National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)
Disappearance of Marsha Brantley – Wikipedia
News & Media Links
Was a missing Tennessee woman murdered or did she willingly disappear? – CBS News 04/2018
Nearly 9 years later: What happened to Marsha Brantley? – Chattanooga Times Free Press 04/2018
Videos & Flyers
Hee husband killed her. By the time the police were notified any evidence was gone.
Are they sure that parents weren’t helped along by the son-in-law?
And why did her friends not report her missing? Her hairdresser reported it..
Really sad. If she left on her own wouldn’t she have emptied her bank account?
Wayne Van der Schaaff says
If the husband was not prepared to initiate a search , why did the community not come together and organize one ?.
Did his daughter have any role to play in his business ? .
Was to much focus not placed on the husband , believing that they had the right person ? .
Did he get any work from were his wife work , given that she had the connections , and that she was financing him ? .
How much support did he get within the community , and was the business ever likely to be a viable proposition ? .
Given the area , such as the stream was this area ever searched ? .
What was his line of work before he started the business , whose idea was it to start the business , and what were the circumstances for wanting to do so ? .
if her body was buried on the property ,surely the dog ‘ s would have dug it up , or there would have been activities going on the property , was there any other building activities going on in the area ? .
Why was he arrested twice , and released twice , without sufficient evidence ? .
How did Mr . Brantley ‘ s personal life style change ? .
In some of the photographs taken with only the two of them , it does not look like they were particularly happy , in particular him ? .