Maury County teen still missing after 10 years

Maury County teen still missing after 10 years (Image 1)

Amber Cates, 16, disappeared April 11, 2004 from Maury County.
Detectives don't know what happened to her but are considering foul play.  Her social security number has never been used, meaning she's never had a driver's license or opened any accounts.
Over the years, her older sister and guardian, Brenda James, has organized vigils and been very outspoken about who she believes might have taken her.
“Whoever knows, I hope it's just eating them alive. It's got to be really hard to deal with or they are cold-hearted, very cold-hearted,” James said in a past interview with News 2.
Brenda said she dropped Amber off at her mom's house in Culleoka where she was going to spend spring break.

Amber left her mom's and never came back.
Detective Jerry Williams said the teen had run away in the past, missed a lot of school, hung around older men, and was involved in drug activity.
He said they're considering all possibilities, from her running away to someone killing her.
In 2010, the FBI posted her photo on a billboard with a composite of what she might look like now.
Det. Williams said they have chased down potential leads in Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and Mexico, but haven't had any luck.
Det. Williams said they've interviewed the older men she used to hang around with and still consider them persons of interest.

“I know somebody knows something. I just wish they'd come forward,” James said.

James is planning a candlelight vigil for Amber on April 12 at 6 p.m. at the White Oak Shelter in Maury County Park.

If you have any information on this case, contact Det. Williams at 931-375-8693 or 931-626-8907.  You could also email him at

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