Jackson police are continuing to investigate the suicide of Thomas Cupples, 39, of Jackson and
the disappearance of Chico Donaldson, 22, of Jackson. Mr. Donaldson was reported missing
by his family on May 4. They reported that they had not seen or heard from him since April 30.
As police investigated, information led them to Cupples.
Cupples was questioned by investigators around noon yesterday and indicated that he had no
involvement in Donaldson's disappearance. He later called a Jackson Police Officer, who he is
personal friends with, around 4:00 p.m., and told him that he was involved in the disappearance
and could not go back to prison. He also made statements to other friends and family members
that he was involved.
Police determined that Cupples was inside his residence at 25 Grove Avenue and had
terminated communication with the outside. He was considered a barricaded suspect and
Tactical Officers and Negotiators were called in.
After numerous attempts to make contact were unsuccessful, Tactical Officers made entry and
found Cupples deceased in a back bedroom from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He left a note
implicating himself in the homicide of Donaldson and the location of where he had left the body.
Investigators went to a house in the 7000 block of State Route 100 East in Jacks Creek where
Cupples' note read that the body would be found. With the assistance of the Chester County
Sheriff's Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, a body was found wrapped in
a tarp about .2 miles east behind the house in a wooded area.
The body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Nashville for autopsy. Police
are waiting for verification of identity and cause and manner of death.
Police continue to seek Donalson's vehicle, a 2002 green Ford Explorer, 4-door, with running
boards and a temporary license plate.
Police are continuing to investigate whether or not Cupples acted alone in the disappearance of
Donaldson. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at the Jackson
Police Department at 425-8400 or Crime Stoppers at 424-8477.