TN TABITHA TUDERS: Missing from Nashville, TN - 29 April 2003 - Age 13


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Tabitha's photo is shown age-progressed to 29 years. She was last seen at approximately 7 a.m. on April 29, 2003 at her home. Tabitha has a birthmark on her stomach, a scar on her finger, and her ears are pierced.

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Details of Disappearance
Tabitha was last seen by her family at approximately 7:00 a.m. on April 29, 2003, when her father woke her up in their home in the 1300 block of Lillian Street in Nashville, Tennessee. She was watching television when he went to work. She was supposed to board the school bus at 8:00 a.m. at 14th & Boscobel Streets. Witnesses saw her walking in that direction. She was reading some papers as she walked and didn't appear to be in a hurry, or looking for anyone.

Tabitha did not get on the bus and never arrived at Bailey Middle School two miles away. Her parents contacted the school that evening when she failed to return home. When they found out she had been absent from school that day, they reported her missing shortly before 6:00 p.m. She does not have a history of a runaway and her parents cannot think of any reason why she would want to leave her home. She was a straight-A student with a perfect attendance record, she was active in the choir at Eastland Baptist Church, and there is no evidence that she had a boyfriend.

She was supposed to go visit the Six Flags of America amusement park in Louisville, Kentucky two weeks after she disappeared, and was very excited about the trip. She left behind all her possessions, including her clothes, makeup, and $20 in cash.

Authorities initially treated Tabitha as a runaway due to her age, but they now believe she was abducted. Her parents and two adult siblings were all investigated and none are being called suspects in her disappearance.

A neighborhood boy told police he saw Tabitha get into a red car with a man on the morning of her disappearance. He described the driver as African-American, 30 to 40 years old, wearing a baseball cap. The witness stated once Tabitha was inside the vehicle, it reversed course and headed back up the hill.

The boy's story has not been confirmed and some investigators doubt his credibility, but tracker dogs traced Tabitha's scent along a route similar to the one described by the witness. The dogs eventually traced her scent into an alley, a place Tabitha's friends say she would never have gone to alone. Tabitha's sister's former boyfriend matches the description of the driver, he drove a red car, and he knew where and when Tabitha took the bus to school each morning, but police have never been able to connect him to her disappearance. Her parents stated they did not believe she would have willingly gone into a car with anyone other than a family member.

A piece of paper found in Tabitha's room after her disappearance may have some connection to her case. The paper reads, in Tabitha's handwriting, "T.D.T. - N - M.T.L." T. D. T. are Tabitha's initials; the initials of the other person are unknown.

Also found was a business card with Tabitha's name, address, phone number, and the notations "call me" and "sexy girl," the latter of which was crossed out and rewritten as "ghetto girl." The card turned out to have been given Tabitha by a friend, though, and had no connection to her disappearance.

Police searched the logs of a computer at the local public library where Tabitha is said to have visited Internet chat rooms, but turned up no information pertaining to her disappearance. A man who was arrested for trying to lure an eleven-year-old girl into his car four months after Tabitha's disappearance, was looked at as a person interest in her case because of the nature of the crime he is charged with and because the alleged incident happened just a few blocks from Tabitha's home. There is no evidence connecting the man and Tabitha, however, and he was eventually taken off the suspect list.

On October 30, 2003, a trucker reported a possible sighting of Tabitha from Linton, Indiana. The trucker saw a girl accompanied by a man and another teenage girl. The girl who looked like Tabitha appeared to be anxious and afraid. Later, when he saw a missing persons flier of Tabitha, he realized that she resembled the girl he'd seen and contacted police. A hotel clerk in Linton also saw a girl resembling Tabitha with a man and a teenage girl and reported it. These sightings has not been confirmed.

August 19, 2003, almost five months after Tabitha's disappearance, an eleven-year-old girl named Heaven Ross disappeared while on her way to school in Northport, Alabama. Her remains were found in Holt, Alabama three years after her disappearance; her murder remains unsolved.

Like Tabitha, Ross had light-colored hair and disappeared in the morning hours on the way to school. Authorities are considering a possible connection between the girls' cases, though the distance between Nashville and Northport is great and so far no evidence has been uncovered to link the two cases.

Tabitha's case remains unsolved. Investigators are not sure what happened to her, but they believe she is in danger.


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The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the recovery of Tabitha Tuders and the prosecution of the person(s) responsible for her disappearance.
Tuders has a birthmark on her stomach and a scar on her finger. Both of her ears are pierced.
Tabitha Tuders was last seen early on the morning of April 29, 2003, at her residence in Nashville, Tennessee. She left the house on her way to board the school bus, but never got on the bus and did not arrive at school. She has not been seen nor heard from since this time.


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Article from 2016

FBI doubles reward in Tabitha Tuders disappearance case
Holly Meyer, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

The reward for information on the disappearance of Tabitha Tuders, who went missing 13 years ago, has doubled to $50,000.

The FBI is now offering up to $50,000 for tips that lead to the recovery of Tuders and the prosecution of those involved in her disappearance, which happened on April 29, 2003. Metro police announced the new reward Friday, which is the anniversary of Tuders' disappearance. The new amount is an increase from the $25,000 first offered by the FBI on April 29, 2010.

Metro police detective Steven Jolley, who is the lead investigator on the case, called the additional reward money "really exciting news." He met with the FBI and the assistant U.S. attorney about a week ago to discuss the case, and new staff at both agencies are interested in helping solve it.
"I'm hoping that extra reward money will generate some more tips and leads," Jolley said. "There are some people that know something about this case."

Tuders, who was 13 at the time, is thought to have left her 1312 Lillian St. home sometime after 7:30 a.m. to catch a school bus at the nearby intersection of 14th and Boscobel streets. She did not board the bus nor attend school.

“Hopefully, they’ll get some more leads in then. Hopefully, we’ll get her back home,” said her father, Irvin “Bo” Tuders. “She’ll be gone just as long as we’ve had her today." Her father appreciated the FBI’s decision to increase the reward.

Metro police and the FBI have investigated hundreds of leads since her disappearance, and the majority of those leads have come from tips. Jolley said tips continually come in on the case and both agencies continue to work together to follow up on new information.
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Detective: Tabitha Tuders may have been abducted, drugged and forced into prostitution
by: Josh Breslow, WKRN Web Staff Posted: Feb 14, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One day shy of Tabitha Tuders’ 30th birthday, the Metro detective in charge of the case has released new information about her disappearance nearly 17 years ago.

In a one-on-one interview Friday morning, Detective Steven Jolley told News 2 that from the beginning, “many tips” have come in suggesting that Tabitha might’ve been abducted, drugged and forced into prostitution in the Dickerson Road and Trinity Lane area. Those same tips continue to come in, the detective explained.

Jolley revealed tips also continue to name one man currently serving a “lengthy” sentence in a federal prison, known to be involved in prostitution in the East Nashville area. The detective explained that man, whose name has not been released, is one of many “potential suspects” in Tabitha’s disappearance.

It’s been nearly 17 years since Tabitha disappeared. In 2003, the 13-year-old was walking to a bus stop, just blocks from her home on Lillian Street in East Nashville. Tabitha vanished and has not been seen or heard from since.

The family has been holding out hope for all these years. They hold a candlelight vigil every year for Tabitha outside East Nashville Magnet Middle School.

Tabitha would be 30 on Saturday.
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New developments in 17-year-old case regarding Tabitha Tuders
Joshua Cole, Rebecca Cardenas Posted on Feb 14, 2020

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - On the eve of what Tabitha Tuders’ 30th birthday, detectives shared additional insights about her disappearance nearly 17 years ago.

Metro Nashville Detectives said they are looking to about eight people of interest seriously at this time, and believe Tabitha could have pushed into drug use and prostitution after she disappeared walking to her East Nashville bus stop in April of 2003.

“There were a lot of tips that came in regarding the possibility she was abducted and hooked on drugs and that she was forced into prostitution,” Metro Police Detective Steven Jolley told News4. He also revealed police are working on a new age-progression photo of Tabitha. “There’s probably more human trafficking cases now than there was when Tabitha disappeared.”

Jolley said police are focusing a few individuals based on tips they’ve received. This includes two men, who go by the nicknames Goldie and Frank Nitty; Nitty is currently in prison on unrelated charges. “The particular individual, who we are looking at as a suspect, heard that he made comments in regard to have to do with her either abduction or murder,” he explained.

Police said many tips have come in, even within the last several months, ranging from Tabitha being alive and married - to her possible murder. “Obviously my hope is she’s still alive, and we’ve seen no evidence and not be given anything directly suggesting she’s not alive,” Jolley said.

Noe one is holding onto that hope more than her parents, Bo and Debra Tuders. “I believe that she’s still out there somewhere. Yes I do,” Debra said in an interview with News4 Friday. “It’s hurtful to hear harsh things like that, that she could be out there prostituting and [doing] drugs.”

The couple said the news was especially difficult on the eve of Tabitha’s 30th birthday. “It’s just hard to picture that little 13-year-old girl being 30 now,” Bo said. “And being a grown woman,” Debra added, “because in our minds she’s still that 13-year-old kid.”

“The hardest part is not knowing,” Debra said, “because we know that i’s a 50/50 chance that our daughter might not be with us anymore, but I can’t go there. I can’t let myself go there. Because, in my heart, I know my daughter’s still out there somewhere. And we’re going to find her.”

Detective Jolley hopes more people with information will come forward regarding what happened to Tabitha. “Some people they have a change of conscience as they mature, or maybe they move out of the lifestyle, or they’ve gotten out of some of the criminal activity they may have been in during that time.”


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Metro Police in Hickman County searching for evidence in disappearance of Tabitha Tuders

Metro Police provided more details regarding a search of an area in rural Hickman County where Tabitha Tuders may have been around 2003, the same year she disappeared.

Information recently received as part of the ongoing investigation, coupled with information developed some years ago, led to Wednesday's execution of a search warrant on the rugged Hickman County acreage. Work on the property is expected to continue until Thursday.

Officers have worked numerous leads over the years, both locally and nationally, in an effort to determine what happened to Tabitha. She is believed to have left her Lillian Street home in East Nashville sometime after 7:30 a.m. on the morning of April 29, 2003, to catch a school bus at the nearby intersection of 14h and Boscobel Streets.


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HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Police, assisted by the FBI, searched a 7-acre property off Back Piney Road Wednesday after receiving tips and connecting the property to a person of interest in the 2003 disappearance of Tabitha Tuders.

Metro Police confirmed several tips, old and new, placed Tuders at the property back in 2003 when she disappeared.

Tuders, who was 13 at the time, was last seen walking to a bus stop in 2003, just blocks from her home on Lillian Street in East Nashville.

MNPD cold case detectives, urban search and rescue, along with FBI evidence teams are looking for any evidence related to Tuders in the wooded area near a small decaying house.

The property is currently owned by DNG Real Estate. The owner tells News 2 that they bought the land two months ago to add to their existing 180 acres and that they bought it off of a man who got it in a tax sale in 2007.

Police had another search warrant Wednesday in Dickson County. A detective tells News 2 that they may have found a 1994 RV that belonged to the same man who lived at the Back Piney Road residence in 2003.

The search ended around 4 p.m. when it started to rain. The crews are expected to resume the search again Thursday.


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Search for evidence in Tabitha Tuders case ends after two days

BON AQUA, Tenn. (WTVF) — The search in rural Hickman County for evidence in the Tabitha Tuders disappearance has ended after two days, Metro police said.
Tuders was 13 years old when she went missing in 2003 in East Nashville.

Metro cold case detectives, agents with the FBI and Urban Search and Rescue officers began searching a 6-acre property in Bon Aqua on Wednesday. MNPD said recent information coupled with investigative leads from years ago led officers to search the property.

Records show the property was once tied to a man long considered a person-of-interest in her disappearance.

Metro police said their search ended on Thursday evening as they were unable to definitively confirm that Tabitha was on the property. However, investigators have not completely ruled out that possibility.
Officers say the investigation into Tabitha's disappearance remains an open and active case.


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Reward offered after search concludes for Tabitha Tuders evidence

Metro detectives, officers and FBI agents concluded their search Thursday in Hickman County for evidence relating to the disappearance of 13-year-old Tabitha Tuders.

In 2003, 13-year-old Tuders went missing after she left for her bus stop in East Nashville. Police said they’ve received new tips these past few months.

On Wednesday, Metro Police told News 4 new information lead investigators to Hickman county.

While authorities were not able to definitely confirm Tuders was on the property, it has not been ruled out as a possibility, according to Metro Police.

Sources told News 4 Albert Franklin Jr. has always been a person of interest in the disappearance of Tuders.

Sources said the reason is Franklin owned a trailer park on Dickerson Pike near where the girl went missing in 2003.

In 2003, sources said Albert aka Frank Nitty owned land in Hickman County and now, multiple agencies are now searching the land he owned in 2003 in regards to Tuders.

Forensic anthropologist Bill Bass talked to News 4 about the investigation and what it takes to find evidence.

"It’s going to take you a while," Bass said. "I mean this is... very seldom do you go out and find it right off. It takes a lot of looking to get something like this to occur."

Bass said they’ll first look for a depression in the forest floor.

"That depression is going to collect water instead of the water that collects is going to allow more vegetation to grow," Bass said.

Another thing they look for is any nicks on trees from someone hitting a shovel to get dirt off of it.

"It is very difficult to cover up a body," Bass said. "You don’t realize that when you put more dirt on top of it, you don’t see it now but the rain is going to wash that dirt away, the animals are going to dig down."

And 17 years have passed, Metro Police are hoping to find something that could give the Tuders family answers.

The investigation into Tabitha’s disappearance remains open and active. Reward money totaling more than $50,000 is offered for information leading to the recovery of Tabitha and the prosecution of those involved in her disappearance.


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43 unsolved missing cases the FBI needs fresh leads on
Amid the disappearance of Gabby Petito that has captured the nation's attention, FBI officials say hundreds of thousands of people go missing every year. In May, the FBI conducted an internal audit and compiled a list of 43 unsolved cases of people under the age of 21 that the agency says need fresh leads. Some date back decades. Here's the list.

Tabitha Danielle Tuders was 13 when he went missing from Nashville, Tennessee, on April 29, 2003. More information and age-progressed photos here.

Tabitha Danielle Tuders was 13 when he went missing from Nashville, Tennessee, on April 29, 2003. More information and age-progressed photos here.

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