Former Tennessee Mayor Found Dead in Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area

by Jon D. B.

Big South Fork NPS rangers would find the deceased’s motorcycle first, leading to the discovery of his body at a backcountry campsite.

The morning of June 9, 2022 would bring a tragic close to the search for former Jamestown, Tennessee Mayor Lyndon Bill Baines. Baines was reported missing Sunday, June 5. The 58-year-old was last seen leaving his West Briar Ave. home at around 3 p.m. riding his silver 2006 Aprilla motorcycle.

The initial search began using the motorcycle’s TN tag. Big South Fork park rangers would then locate Baines’ vehicle on June 8 at a backcountry campsite. His body was found in a nearby tent the following morning.

In life, Lyndon Baines became Mayor of Jamestown, Tennessee on September 26, 2018. During his career as a Democratic politician, Baines fought for “bipartisan” health care and Medicaid reform. He attempted to negotiate with the state and federal governments to keep the Jamestown Regional Medical Center open. A lack of doctors, however, forced the medical center to close.

“It feels like the owner of this hospital is holding us hostage,” Baines said during an Aug. 6 Stand for Rural Healthcare rally. The event, organized by the Tennessee Democratic Party, was held outside the closed facility on Hwy. 52 West.

“This should be a bipartisan issue,” read one of the last political statements from Baines as mayor on this very issue. “No matter what party you’re in, you should care about the health of human beings.”

Big South Fork Death Shocks Tennessee Town

Baines’ body recovery came via assistance of Scott County EMS, Scott County Sheriffs Office, Scott County Rescue Squad, and Fentress County Sheriffs Office, NPS’s official June 10, 2022 statement reads.

“Rangers with Big South Fork located the Motorcycle driven by Mr. Baines at a campsite in the park,” JPD officials add in a statement. “Rangers attempted to check on Mr. Baines welfare and found him deceased inside the tent.”

No other further details are available at this time. But an investigation by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office remains ongoing. Their initial search report for Baines reads:

Baines is described as being between 5’9-11” tall.. Weighing between 195-205 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. If you have any information, call the Scott County Sheriff’s Office at 423-663-3111.

Scott County Sheriff’s Office

As of these reports, no indications of foul play have come to light. Outsider offers our sincere condolences to the loved ones of Baines.