Missing Tennessee 14-year-old who sparked a multistate investigation is found, father charged
On January 13, a 14-year-old Tennessee girl went missing from her home. On Thursday, police finally found her alive in Wisconsin.
She was found nearly 700 miles away from her home and her father has since been charged for something else related to her.
Savannah Leigh Pruitt, 14, was last seen at her home in Madisonville, Tennessee, which is about 70 miles east of Chattanooga. Her mother revealed that the teenage girl was seen before she went to bed between 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
She was found two weeks later in Wisconsin according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. The police have since arrested her adoptive father, Randall Pruitt, on rape charges.
At a press conference on Thursday, Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones said:
"He was arrested and charged with rape. We don't believe at this time that he had any connections to her being a runaway or missing, I have to be vague in all my statement because this is still an ongoing investigation."
The sheriff revealed that there was a possibility of "multiple other charges coming forward" with a number of people being involved. He explained that he couldn’t share who the teenager was with at the time she was found.
However, he did note that she had family in Wisconsin but added that he didn't believe she was related to the people that she was found with. The sheriff said, "She is safe. She is in custody so that's a very good ending to this as far as we're concerned."
He added, "She’s had shelter, she’s been eating and, according to the information that we got back, she’s doing fine." When the teenager disappeared, the police had asked for any assistance from the public.
Her two cell phones last signals were near a Kentucky welcome center along Interstate 75 in Whitley County, near the Tennessee state line. Savannah’s mother, Christina Pruitt, described her at the time as, "very loving, very bubbly," and "a ray of sunshine."
Her disappearance sparked a multistate investigation and search and her phones got turned off. During a press conference, at the time, her adoptive father said, “Life has just seized for us since the day she left.”
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