Murfreesboro family says dog was stolen out of yard

Michelle Overholt (Photo: WKRN)
Michelle Overholt (Photo: WKRN)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro family says someone stole their dog right out of their yard, and they think they’re being scammed.

They say Stewart was a big part of their family and even slept in bed with them.

“It’s just like a family member’s gone now,” said Michelle Overholt.

Overholt said she was at work when her husband let their 9-year-old Yorkie outside. Their yard isn’t fenced, but Michelle said they’ve let Stewart out countless times, and he always finds his way back home.

But when she got home that day, Stewart was nowhere to be found.

“He usually greets me and he wasn’t there, and so I looked around through the house and didn’t see him anywhere, so I looked outside and I knew he was gone,” Overholt told News 2.

Michelle Overholt (Photo: WKRN)
Michelle Overholt (Photo: WKRN)

She continued, “We looked through the neighborhood, then we started to make flyers, posted them on the stop signs and just everywhere.”

Three days after Overholt and her family posted flyers and put ads on Craigslist and social media, she got a text message from someone claiming to know where Stewart is.

The first question was, “How much is the reward?”

“I said, ‘Do you know where my dog is?’ And they said, ‘I know exactly where your dog is,’ Overholt told News 2.

She said she didn’t want to get her hopes up but carried on the conversation in hopes that it might lead her to Stewart.

“She said the woman that has your dog is afraid she’s going to get in trouble, but she just wants the money. She doesn’t care about your dog; she just wants the money,” Overholt continued.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

She showed News 2 text messages she sent back and forth, and at one point, she was even supposedly texting with “the woman” who actually took her dog.

The woman told Michelle to send reward money for Stewart through a PayPal account. When Michelle asked her to send a picture of Stewart to prove she really did have him, the conversation ended.

“Right away it was, ‘Nevermind. She decided she’s going to keep your dog,’” said Overholt.

Now the family is heartbroken and confused.

Overholt said, “I don’t know what to do anymore. We were at a loss, and we just thought this was terrible. Even if they don’t have my dog, to prey on people who are grieving, and trying to get money from these people, it’s just horrible. I just want my dog back.”

She told us the worst part is not knowing where Stewart is or if he’s safe. She says he needs medication, and hopes whoever has Stewart will take him back home to be with his family where he belongs.

She doesn’t want to see this happen to anyone else, and urges everyone with pets to keep a close eye on them at all times.