Family holds candlelight vigil for missing Maury County teen - WKRN News 2

Family holds candlelight vigil for missing Maury County teen

Posted: Updated: March 27, 2013 05:09 PM
Amber Elizabeth Cates at age 16. Amber Elizabeth Cates at age 16.
Amber Elizabeth Cates at age 22, age-progressed. Amber Elizabeth Cates at age 22, age-progressed.
COLUMBIA, Tenn. -

A Maury County family is pleading for information about the mysterious disappearance of 16-year-old Amber Cates.

The teen was last seen on April 11, 2004.

Since she vanished, detectives have investigated for years, but nothing has turned up.

The FBI got involved in 2010 in a renewed effort to find Cates, whose picture was put on billboards and semi-trucks, but none of the new leads led detectives to her.

At the time she went missing, Cates' sister, Brenda James, had just gained custody of her. The teen went to visit her mother and never returned.

At first, investigators thought she was a runaway, but later suspected something bad had happened to her.

"It's not that somebody would want to hurt her on purpose, but the lifestyle that she had been used to living and the friends she was hanging with," said James, who went onto say her little sister was hanging with "the wrong crowd."

Nine years later, James hasn't given up hope. She is still counting on finding her little sister.

"Whoever knows, I hope it's just eating them alive. It's got to be really hard to deal with or they are cold-hearted, very cold-hearted," James told Nashville's News 2.

James is having a candlelight vigil April 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the White Oak Shelter in Maury County Park.

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