Family still wants answers after Roane County man was murdered more than a decade ago

PAINT ROCK (WATE) – It’s an unsolved murder that has gripped the Paint Rock community in Roane County for more than a decade.

Investigators and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are still trying to piece together what happened to David Eugene Keylon. He was murdered October 29, 2001.

Related: Cold Case: Roane County man brutally murdered in his home

Keylon’s niece Anita Bright says she still wants answers.

TBI and Roane County Sheriff’s Office are both working this case as a joint investigation. They say case is still active and ongoing.


“I got a phone call from a family member that said he’d been murdered, it was a shock,” said Bright.

Keylon, who was 64 at the time, went by the name Gene.

David Eugene Keylon


He had the same routine everyday. He went to church on Sunday and ate lunch at Galyon’s store every afternoon.

Bright says her uncle was retired and lived alone.


“He was a character, he was simple, he liked structure, he liked having the same thing to do everyday because that kept him safe,” she said.

Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton says Gene was stabbed and shot several times in his home in the Paint Rock community.

Almost 15 years later, no arrests have been made, but Stockton says they think more than one person was involved and it could have been someone he knew.

Roane County resident David Eugene Keylon's home. (File photo from 2001)
Roane County resident David Eugene Keylon’s home. (File photo from 2001)

“From what I understand, there was a big struggle so my uncle fought back really hard,” said Bright. “The TBI said it was very bad in the house.”

Keylon withdrew $15,000 in cash for an out-of-court settlement over a car accident. The cash was with him. Bright says not too many people knew about it.

“Whoever came in to hurt him wanted to go to his stashes, Uncle Gene didn’t spend a lot of money so he saved most of what he had so he had some money there somewhere,” she said.

Bright says more than anything, she doesn’t want authorities to give up on finding the person who murdered her uncle.

“I just don’t want him to be forgotten, there is someone out there somewhere who knows something,” she said.

Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton says they’ve had leads but not enough information to make an arrest.

They are continuing to follow more leads, evidence and interview people when the opportunity present itself.

TBI County Sheriff Deputies say they really need people to not be afraid and come forward with information in this case.

They ask that you contact 865-717-4217 or 1-800-TBI-find. You can remain anonymous.

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