Friday, April 26, 2013

10 years … and this child is still missing

10 years … and this child is still missing, This coming Sunday will mark the 10 year anniversary of Nashville’s most baffling missing child case. There still are no answers as to what happened to a little girl.

Tabitha Tuders departed her residence on Lillian Street in east Nashville on April 28, 2003 at about 7:50am, walked north on South 14th, turned down Boscobel to catch her school bus, and from there … no one knows. She never made it to Bailey Middle School, where she was a student. She never came home. Witnesses can place her walking to the bus stop, but the witness who swears he saw her get into a vehicle has been called “unreliable” by law enforcement. Tabitha was not one to disrespect her family or run away from home. She did not drink, use drugs, or even try cigarettes. She was polite and a bit shy.

When she was reported missing that afternoon, law enforcement went into action, searching local yards, questioning neighbors, and talking to family. Good leads were followed, and then they panned out. Tabitha’s case has been featured on “Americas Most Wanted” twice. Her parents have appeared on national talk shows. Flyers, banners, and even a racecar showed her image and information. Still, Nashville is still asking, “What happened to Tabitha Tuders?”

Those interested in the case, hoping to bring a little girl home, have tried everything. Cyber sleuthing is one way. Many citizens have scanned photographs of girls that may be Tabitha, passing the photos along Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Candlelight vigils have been held to keep her memory alive. Her friends keep their eyes open and still hand out flyers in the hopes of seeing her again.

Tabitha Tuders, wherever she is, turned 23 this February 2013. She is no longer the child who walked away from home into oblivion ten years ago. But for her family and friends, and those who want to find her, she is frozen in time in all that is left: pictures and memories.

I am the only journalist working on the Tabitha Tuders case 24/7 since I began writing for examiner.com in 2009. I have spent much time and my own money in an attempt to find the truth, because I promised Tabitha. If you would like to help, please contact me via my website.

My website

My book on crime prevention features Tabitha’s case

Photo of J. Yates CREDIT

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