Update, Feb. 1: The missing 14-year-old girl was found safe in Wisconsin. Authorities say she ran away to flee a bad living situation and her adoptive father, Randall Pruitt, has been arrested for allegedly raping her. Because she is a sexual assault victim, Oxygen.com is no longer identifying her and has removed her name from this story.
The parents of a missing 14-year-old girl are pleading with the public for help to find her after she disappeared from her Tennessee home in the early morning hours on Jan. 14.
"It's like having your soul ripped out of your body," her father Randall Pruitt said, according to WATE. "You can't think, you can't eat, you can't sleep, you can't rest - life has just ceased for us since she left."
The teen was last seen at her Madisonville, Tennessee home—where she had just moved with her family four weeks earlier— at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13th by her family, but when her mom went to check on the teen at 4:30 a.m. the next morning she was gone, WVLT reports.
“We’re very heartbroken,” her mother told WATE. “I miss her. I don’t understand. … None of us understand.”
At a press conference Friday, Det. Jason Fillyaw said the teen’s phone last pinged the morning of Jan. 14 around 5:15 a.m. in Corbin, Kentucky. The phone hasn’t been active since and Pruitt has not used any social media in the days since she disappeared.
Authorities aren’t sure why should would be in Kentucky. The Monroe County Sheriff’s office, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, who are all assisting in the case, pored through more than 2,000 pages of the teen’s cell phone and social media activity, but still have few clear answers.
“There has been nothing in any of that reporting that led us to believe that she intended to run away or was speaking with anybody that would try to abduct her,” Fillyaw said, according to WVLT.
The teen had just moved with her family to their home in Tennessee just four weeks earlier from Lawrenceville, Georgia, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
She had apparently been happy about the move because their new home was in a farm setting.
Her parents described their daughter, who is the oldest of four children, as an animal lover who loved horses, her pet raccoon and other family farm animals.
“You are my sunshine, and will always be my sunshine,” her mother said, according to WVLT when asked to give a message to her daughter. “No matter what, I love you. Please come home."
Fillyaw said investigators have some information they are “withholding at this time” in case there would ever be any type of prosecution in the case.
They are now asking the public for additional information.
“This is the first time they’ve had any child gone for this length of time, and that worries us,” Sheriff Tommy Jones said. “We truly need the eyes and ears of the community.”
[Photos: Monroe County Sheriff’s Office]
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