Arrest made in Bradley County cold case

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 8/26/2013 6:49 pm
CLEVELAND, Tennessee(WDEF) - Authorities have made an arrest in a cold case involving a woman who has been missing since 2009.

Donnie Brantley was taken into custody Monday morning and charged with the premeditated first degree murder of his wife Marsha.

Marsha Brantley was reported missing four years ago and haven't been heard from or seen since. Her husband has always been a person of interest in the case and now that he is in jail, Marsha's family is now looking forward to knowing what actually happened to her.

"I was overjoyed for the family. It's just a small step toward maybe some closure to see justice for Marsha," said her cousin Jana Brantley.

"You're glad that justice is going to be served. It's been hard for us to not know what has happened and not knowing where you're niece is," said her aunt Medra Justis.

Authorities have not located Marsha's body but were able to charge her husband with premeditated first degree murder based on evidence.

News of the arrest quickly spread through the campus of Lee University where Marsha Brantley worked. Her close friend and co-worker, Roxanne Tyson spoke on behalf of the university.

"The Lee community is very happy that he has been arrested and that some closure will come of this," said Roxanne Tyson.

The family is now pleading with Donny Brantley to tell authorities the truth about his wife's disappearance.

"It would help him and it would help us. We've gone through a lot of pain over this. I know he is going through pain also," said Justis.

"I would just like for him to tell us where Marsha is. I would like for him to go ahead and get it off his chest and tell us what happened and where we can find her," said Wills.

A judge set Donnie Brantley's bail at $500,000.

He was living in Georgia up until his arrest.

When Brantley left his home Tuesday morning to attend a court hearing on charges that he hindered the investigation into his wife's disappearance, he had no idea the district attorney planned a trap at the court house. Once he arrived, he was immediately taken into custody.

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