A 13-Year-Old Was Headed To The Bus Stop Just Like Any Other Day. But On This Day She Never Came Home.

Source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; Upsplash

May 24 2022, Published 2:16 p.m. ET

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It started as a typical day for Tabitha Tuders. She woke up, got ready for school and walked to the bus stop.

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Only April 29, 2003, would be different. After the then-13-year-old left her Nashville, Tennessee home around 7 a.m. she was never seen again.

“That was the worst day of my life,” Debra Tuders told WKRN Nashville in 2021.

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As of May 12, 2022, Tuders would be 32 years old.

“She’s sketched in our brain at 13,” Debra Tuders, Tabitha's mother, told WKRN.

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Tuders was walking to the bus stop on Lillian Street in East Nashville, blocks from her home, when she was last seen by a neighbor. Police have received tips, with many speculating about sex trafficking, according to WKRN.

“You never know, with this world you never know,” Debra Tuders told WKRN.

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Detective Matthew Filter, Metro Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division, told News WTVF Nashville in 2021 that one witness reported seeing Tuders called over to a car before willingly getting in before she got to the bus stop.

Filter told WTVF that it was one of many promising tips to come in. However, none have led to her location.

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"In a way we hold out hope that she is maybe is alive. That perhaps she was abducted and is the victim of human trafficking. But at the same time, we have nothing that necessarily points to that or there's nothing we can at least confirm that says she’s alive or dead at this point,” Filter said. "It’s just still a really active investigation even after 18 years. There's just a lot going on with it all the time.”

The Tuders continue to hold out hope that she'll be found. A missing person banner still hangs outside their home, WKRN reports.

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"“If she’s gone, at least I want to know where she’s at. If she’s passed, I just want to put her to rest, so I can have a place to go to. You know, I already got her headstone and everything. One day, we are going to find her, somebody’s going to tell us where she’s at,” Debra Tuders said.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers (615) 74-CRIME.


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