Tabitha Tuders missing 10 years todayPosted: Updated:
A candlelight vigil Monday marks the 10-year anniversary of the disappearance of Tabitha Tuders.
The 13-year-old vanished after leaving her home in East Nashville to catch her school bus, but she never arrived at Bailey Middle School and never returned home.
The search for Tabitha has stretched from Nashville to Las Vegas and all leads have fallen short, but her parents haven't given up hope she will one day walk through the front door again.
"Ten years, and it's just the same as it was 10 years ago - still no new information and she's still out there somewhere," said father Bo Tuders.
A missing child poster of Tabitha has been hanging on the Tuderses' front porch since about six weeks into the search for her. It came from the command center that was built in the search efforts for the girl who at the time was the most high-profile missing person in Tennessee.
"She made it across the street, and they said about the third or fourth house down, she got picked up somewhere down there," Bo Tuders said.
Volunteers went door-to-door and phone calls flooded tip lines as the Tuders made dozens of TV interviews, even appearing on The Montel Williams Show to get the word out.
Now, the investigation is in the hands of the Metro Police Cold Case Unit.
"Nothing of hers has been found. I guess that would be a good thing, because that lets us know she's still alive," Bo Tuders said.
Detectives still receive tips about Tabitha from time to time but nothing new. The last big tip was in 2011 when there were reports of a woman working as an escort in Las Vegas with a striking resemblance to Tabitha.
The FBI later said the woman's DNA was not match.
"It was heartbreaking at the end, because we didn't get her," Bo Tuders said.
If she is alive, Tabitha would now be 23 years old, and after all these years, her family's message remains the same.
"All we have left is hope, and we want her back home," Bo Tuders said.
The Tuders ask that if somebody knows something - no matter how small - report it to police.
Tabitha's parents will join friends and family for a candlelight vigil Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Bailey Middle School.
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