COLUMBIA, Tenn. (KWNR) – Thousands of green ribbons were passed out in Columbia during Mule Day festivities in honor of a Maury county teen who’s been missing for almost three weeks.
It’s the mules that draw tens of thousands of people to the small town this weekend, but this year the amber alert for Elizabeth Thomas was on the minds of many at the annual celebration.
PHOTOS: AMBER Alert for Elizabeth Thomas
Green, Elizabeth’s favorite color, could be seen on everyone from the Culleoka Warriors Blue Knights to police officers at the event.
“We are out here spreading awareness for Elizabeth Thomas,” family friend Paige Griffith stated as she passed out ribbons to the crowd.
Elizabeth’s father, Anthony, says the Maury county community has been incredibly supportive during this difficult time.
“It’s just so much like Maury County to show that kind of support. You’ve got a really good community here, and people who are able to give their all when someone is in crisis, that’s Maury County for you,” explained Anthony.
It’s now been 20 days since his daughter went missing.
“It’s just a huge shock to me still. I just wish it wasn’t real. It’s definitely been a long, miserable time.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has followed more than 1,200 tips, but only one confirms the Maury County teen is with her former teacher, Tad Cummins.
Surveillance video shows the 15 year old with her former teacher at a Walmart in Oklahoma City on March 15th.
Anthony says the confirmed sighting gives his family hope.
“It was good to see her face. I think it did everybody a little bit of good to see her face. Just being able to see her gives me a little bit more hope, but we still don’t know where she is.”
There will be a vigil for Elizabeth Sunday night at 7 p.m. in the Columbia public square.
Meanwhile, authorities are urging the public to keep an eye out for the pair.
Elizabeth is a 15-year-old white female, with hazel eyes, stands 5 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings.
Cummins is a white male, who stands 6 feet tall, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. He’s believed to be armed with two handguns.
It remains unknown if they are still traveling in Cummins’ silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976-ZPT. Anyone who sees them should call 1-800-TBI-FIND.