Suspect named in 1996 disappearance of 14-year-old Cayce McDaniel

Suspect in Cayce McDaniels' disappearance has criminal history

Milan, TN (WMC) - A 22-year-old mystery may finally be coming to an end.

On August 16, 1996, a 14-year-old girl vanished from her home in Milan, Tennessee. Her name was Cayce McDaniel.

McDaniel's disappearance has puzzled investigators for decades. Not a single arrest has been made, nor has the girl ever been located.

However, Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers recently identified Fins Ewin Hill, also known as Uncle Pete, as a suspect in McDaniel's disappearance.

Hill has been part of the investigation into McDaniel's disappearance from the beginning.

"His name has been around but until recently, you know, we never saw his face," Lindsey McDaniel, Cayce's cousin, said. "Seeing that, that was terrifying."

Hill has a lengthy criminal history that includes aggravated rape and burglary.

He got out of prison in January after serving 15 years for attempted kidnapping an aggravated assault crimes that happened in 2003.

He was arrested in June after investigators caught him traveling from Tennessee to Mississippi with the goal of raping an underage girl. He was indicted on charges in that case in July.

After Hill was indicted for the 2018 crime, Sellers announced that Hill was the prime suspect in McDaniel's disappearance.

Sellers said Hill's alibi and other statements he's made during the McDaniel investigation don't add up.

Brandon Barnett created the podcast Searching for Ghosts on the 20th anniversary of McDaniel's disappearance. Barnett has talked about McDaniel's case many times on his podcast.

"It is amazing that it has gone this long. And more people know--this didn't happen in a vacuum. More people know and a lot of people kept it a secret for 22 years," Barnett said.

"We would love for her to walk through our doors, but we also know that's probably not very realistic," Lindsey said.

Sellers told The Jackson Sun his top priority is bringing closure to the McDaniel family.

"We'd love it if one day she were to walk back into Milan, but the odds of that happening at this point are very slim, just based on evidence and how much time has passed," Sellers told the newspaper. "So, the family just wants to put her to rest. If in the process we find out who was responsible for that, that's great, too."

Sellers said he still believes there are people living in the Mid-South who know something about McDaniel's disappearance. He believes that info could be what breaks the case wide open.

Sellers urges anyone with information to contact Milan Police Department or the FBI.

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