One Year Later, no news on missing man

‘Absolutely nothing,’ mother says

By Beverly Majors |
The Oak Ridger

“All we do is pray,” said Tricia Funk.

Tricia and Kevin Funk’s eldest son, Derek Ryan Funk, is still listed as a missing person — one year after he disappeared while driving to his South Knoxville home.

Derek, who grew up in Oak Ridge, was last seen May 12, 2010, at a friend’s home in Powell. He left the house about midnight and hasn’t been seen — or heard — from since.

His parents, Tricia and Kevin Funk, longtime Oak Ridge residents, offered a $5,000 reward last December in hopes of turning up information about their son.

“There’s nothing, absolutely nothing,” Tricia Funk said Thursday.

Derek’s voice was last heard on the night he disappeared. His mother said he talked to a female friend for about 16 minutes. After that call — nothing.

When Derek failed to arrive home and then didn’t show up for work the next morning, his mother began calling his friends, then called the Knoxville Police Department.

Derek was driving a white 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck when he left Powell that night. The truck has also not been found.

“If they (police) ever find the truck, I think they’ll find Derek,” Tricia said.

She added that friends on the Facebook page, “Derek Funk is Missing,” are speculating that he “took off to find himself or something.

“I don’t think he’d ever do that,” she said. “I think he would tell us. He always told us the truth. Unless Kevin and I are way off base; we may be wrong.”

The Funks are coping with the disappearance the best they can — trying to live a normal life. Brett Funk, Derek’s younger brother, is attending Pellissippi State Community College, and his parents are going about their day-to-day tasks.

“He’s still part of our family,” Tricia said. “We don’t ignore it. We talk about him a lot. We have good days and we have our bad days.”

Derek, a 2009 Oak Ridge High School graduate, turned 20 in October. He is 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and weighs about 130 pounds. He has blond hair and blue eyes. He has several distinguishing tattoos. His pickup truck tag number is TN 422-HHJ.

“I feel like somebody out there knows something,” Tricia said. “Somebody has to know something. I don’t think people just vanish from the face of the earth.”

If anyone has information about Derek Funk, call the KPD at (865) 215-7212 , or the Funks at (865) 483-1804 .


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