Three years ago, on April 29, 2010, Metro police, the FBI, a representative of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and a group of 25 canvassers scoured the neighborhood surrounding this house at 1312 Lillian St. in East Nashville.
Their efforts came at the suggestion of the center, putting a new focus on an old case, a cold case, meant to conjure up a lead, any lead, that might start to explain why Tabitha Tuders, barely a teen, vanished one morning seven years earlier somewhere between her home and the school bus stop.
A lot has happened since that Tuesday morning in 2003. Theories arose that Tuders ran away or was abducted. Family members faced scrutiny immediately following the disappearance.
False leads have come and gone. Was Tuders the girl shown in this picture, or that picture? Was the female escort in Las Vegas bearing a resemblance to the missing girl simply Tuders in her new life?
None of the leads has panned out, leaving investigators stumped by a case unlike most others. Monday, April 29, marks a full decade since Tuders disappeared. Police have said along the way that they’ve had few leads to follow and that someone in the community knows something or saw something that might tip the case in the right direction.
Today there’s still a $25,000 reward offered by the FBI for information on the case, and a “Missing Tabitha Tuders” Facebook page has 3,600-plus “friends.”
For now, the weathered missing-person banner with identifying information and a photo of the frozen-in-time 13-year-old Tuders still hangs from the family’s front porch, a silent yet persistent reminder of the questions that remain, as well as the hope.