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FBI investigating apparent homicide in the Smokies

A Whittier man was discovered dead in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the early morning hours of March 29.

The death of Tyler Britton Gaddis, 25, is being treated as a homicide, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation looking into it with assistance from the National Park Service. Gaddis was found at Smokemont Baptist Church, also known as Luftee Baptist Church, located at the entrance to Smokemont Campground near the Cherokee entrance to the park. 

“The FBI responded to the scene and gathered evidence, which will be processed to determine the cause, manner and circumstances of the man’s death,” said Shelley Lynch, public affairs specialist for the FBI. 

Because the death is still under investigation, few details are available for release. However, said the park’s spokesperson Dana Soehn, “We do not believe there is any threat to park visitors or the community related to the crime.”

Gaddis, a Jackson County native, was the father of one daughter and is also survived by his parents and four siblings, according to his obituary. Condolences can be sent online at

— By Holly Kays, staff writer

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