A $10,000 reward is being offered for information related to the murder of Rhonette Harris Lyles, 77, Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey announced Monday.
Lyles was found dead last month in her burned-out house on Moman Road in the Horton community near Snead, according to Casey. Autopsy results concerning the cause of death have not been released yet.
The fire was ruled an arson by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and if a fire is set and someone dies in it, it’s investigated as a homicide, according to Casey.
She said the investigation has led outside the county. “We need the public’s assistance.” Casey said. “We don’t believe this was a random act. Someone knows why and who did this, and we need them to come forward and trust me. I need your help. This was a beloved teacher in this community who affected a lot of lives.”
Lyles was a second-grade teacher at Cleveland Elementary for 23 years.
Several law enforcement agencies are providing the money for the reward.
Anyone with information about the crime should contact Blount County Crime Stoppers at 274-2746, the district attorney’s office at 625-4171, or 911.