The Doe Network:
Case File 1701DFTN


Paula Michelle Burnette
Missing since September 17, 1996 from Harrison, Hamilton County, Tennessee
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Circumstances of Disappearance
Burnette was last seen about 06:00 a.m. at her residence in Harrison, Tennessee on September 17, 1996.

She was in an estranged relationship with her husband, Donald Ray Burnette, when she was last seen on September 17, 1996. This case is still classified as a missing person but is being handled as a homicide investigation due to the violent history within the marriage.

In October 1996, Paula Burnette's driver's license was found in the 9500 block of Harrison Bay Road, Harrison, Tennessee. Two months after she was last seen, her estranged husband, Donald Ray Burnette, took an Amsouth branch bank manager and her family hostage. After driving them around the countryside all night, he forced the woman to rob her own bank. A month later, Donald Ray Burnette and an accomplice, James Travis White, were arrested.

In April 1997, Paula Burnette's purse/address book washed into a Chattanooga home's backyard in the Tyner community. In July 1997, authorities searched the old Savannah Valley Water Plant.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
Det. Jeff Baker

Agency Case Number: 96-25306

Source Information:
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
NamUs MP# 4480

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Last Updated: 8/31/2012 - By: BR / Web Assist