|On March 30, 2019 at approximately 12:00 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to 1329 Cooks Valley Road in Kingsport, to check the welfare of the resident, after receiving a complaint from a concerned citizen that the front door had been ajar for about a week.
Upon arrival, the front door was found to be standing open as described, and the responding officers could smell a putrid odor emanating from inside. Upon entering the house to investigate the source of the odor, officers found the home to be in complete disarray.
In a back bedroom, behind a closed door, officers found the remains of what appeared to have been a dog. The skeleton of what appeared to have been a second dog was found in the backyard.
Officers were eventually able to reach the resident, Benjamin R. Vaness, by phone. He confirmed ownership of the residence and promised to clean it up. He told officers that there were no pets at his home, yet further investigation revealed additional information to the contrary.
Mr. Vaness agreed to contact and meet with the officers at his home the following day. On March 31, 2019, he called K.P.D. to arrange the requested meeting; however, when the officers arrived shortly thereafter, Mr. Vaness had already left and could not be reached again.
A warrant has been obtained, charging Mr. Vaness with 2 counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty, a Class E felony. As of the time of issuance of this news release, he remains at large. His photo is included with this release. Anyone who knows his current whereabouts is asked to contact Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.
Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link: