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Police Find Body Of Missing Tampa Mom In State Forest An Hour Away

The body of Teneisha Griffith, whose family reports went missing from Tampa on March 19, was discovered late last week in a wooded area of rural Pasco County.

By Megan Carpentier
Police Find Body Of Missing Tampa Mom In State Forest

The body of a missing Tampa-area mom was found late last week in a remote state forest well outside the city.

The family of Teneisha Griffith, 27, confirmed on Facebook on Friday night that the young mother had died.

"Sadly, It is with a heavy and broken heart that we say Teneisha is no longer with us," Rena Walters wrote after thanking Griffith's friends and family, law enforcement officials, the people of Tampa and the news media. "Our family is irreparably broken. We will never be the same."

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office confirmed Griffith's death on Sunday evening with the permission of her family. (The office required the permission of the family to identify her because of a 2018 amendment to the state constitution known as Marsy's Law, the Tampa Bay Times reported, which prevents disclosure of certain victim information.)

Teneisha Griffith missing

The sheriff's office received a call around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday about a body found near the southeast side of the Richloam Wildlife Management Area, which part of the Withlacoochee State Forest. The area where her body was discovered is about 50 miles northeast of Tampa, where Griffith was reported missing.

The body was subsequently identified as Griffith's, and Pasco County is now in charge of the investigation into her death, the office told the Times. They are still searching for her white 2008 Nissan Altima, authorities said.

According to her family, Griffith had finished her shift with Amazon and returned to her home around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 18, as previously reported by the Times. She texted with her father sometime on Friday evening, but her family grew concerned after friends reached out via Facebook on Saturday to say the young mom was a no-show at a previously scheduled event.

Griffith also failed to answer any further text messages or call her 12-year-old daughter, who was staying with Griffith's mother — an unusual move that had her family particularly concerned for her well-being. She didn't respond to a group text on Monday, which is when her family reported her missing, and failed to show up for work on Tuesday.

The Pasco Sheriff's Office now says that they are seeking information about Griffith's whereabouts or potential companions starting on Saturday, March 19.

The office is asking anyone with information to report tips at PascoSheriff.com/tips, by calling 1-800-706-2488, or by utilizing CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).