NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Rays of sunshine blanket the home on Lillian Street in East Nashville just as they did 19 years ago when Debra and Bo Tuders last saw their daughter Tabitha. Her face, printed on a sign, has faded over time, but their memories of her are as clear as the day she went missing.
“I’ll be driving by myself, and I can hear her, and then when I look in the passenger seat I can see her sitting there just singing,” Debra said.
The story of 13-year-old Tabitha consumed the news. Just 98 pounds, she was last seen in 2003 walking to her bus stop at 14th and Boscobel when a classmate spotted her.
“He saw Tabitha walking down the hill when the red car made a U-turn and she was gone,” Debra said.
Tabitha never made it to school, but it wasn’t until the afternoon of April 29, when the punctual teen didn’t return home that Debra realized something was terribly wrong.
“I never got a phone call,” Debra recalled. “They had eight hours to get anywhere before I realize my child was gone.”
The community came out in force and questions swirled.
“It’s just this one part of missing information that somebody out there knows and they’re not telling,” Bo said.
As time ticks on, the family grows, yet her name remains a part of the daily conversation. They hold out hope one day they will have answers.
“If we don’t, we’re still going to be with Tabitha again. She’s going to be right there at those gates waiting on us when we come,” Debra says.
Burned in their minds as their bright-eyed child, Tabitha would be 32 years old now.
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 or people responsible for her disappearance. If you have any information you’re asked to contact 1-800-call-FBI.