Savannah Pruitt was a missing 14-year-old girl from Madisonville, Tennessee. The last time anyone in her family saw Pruitt was on January 13, 2019. Authorities said in a news conference on January 31, 2019 that the teen was found safe in a residence in Wisconsin.
She was at home in Tennessee. Then, she was gone. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, launched a major effort to find her. Her full name is Savannagh Leigh Pruitt. Although there was talk early on that Pruitt might have run away, authorities were concerned.
“I’ve been in an investigative position with this agency for three years now, and this is the first time we’ve had a missing juvenile go to this level,” Detective Jason Fillyaw with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said during an earlier press conference. “Usually, we locate them within 24 to 48 hours and they’re home safe.”
On January 31, 2019, authorities also announced that they had charged Savannah’s adoptive father, Randall Pruitt, with rape. However, they have not specified whether those accusations link to Savannah’s disappearance nor have they said whether the teen was found. You can read more about Randall Pruitt here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Say Savannah Is Now ‘Safe’
Sheriff Tommy Jones said in a press conference that Savannah is now safe.
“She is safe she is in custody, and that’s the best outcome for the the situation,” he said in a press conference on January 31. WBIR-TV reported that the rape accusations are related to Savannah’s case but authorities won’t provide additional specifics.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation listed Pruitt on its missing children’s page. “Savannah Leigh Pruitt is a missing 14 year old white female, 5’03”, 110lbs, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Savannah was last seen at her residence in Madisonville, TN on January 13, 2019,” the post reads, along with a photo of Pruitt.
“There is no known clothing description. She may have traveled to the Corbin KY area. If you have seen Savannah, please call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 423-442-3911 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.”
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department has posted repeatedly on Facebook asking the public to share information about Pruitt. Here’s the full post from the SD:
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) have been working on several leads in locating a missing child. “We are asking for public assistance in finding Savannah Leigh Pruitt,” said Sheriff Tommy Jones. “If anyone has information as to the whereabouts of Miss Pruitt, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 423-442-3911 (423-442-HELP) or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND,” continued Sheriff Jones.
Savannah Leigh Pruitt is a missing 14 year old white female, 5’3”, 110lbs, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Savannah was last seen at her residence in Madisonville, TN on January 13, 2019. There is no known clothing description. She may have traveled to the Corbin KY area. If you have seen Savannah, please call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 423-442-3911 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
2. Randall Pruitt Said Earlier That the Search Was Like Having Your Soul Ripped Out
Pruitt’s parents appeared at a press conference with law enforcement. “It’s like having your soul ripped out of your body,” Randall Pruitt, her adoptive dad, said at the press conference.
“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.”
Another person who knows Pruitt wrote, “Please continue to pray for Savannah Pruitt.
1 week today and still not a word from her. Savannah we pray that you are safe. We all love you and miss you and hope you are home soon.”
3. On Facebook, Savannah Wrote About ‘Loving Parents Who Teach Me Right From Wrong Daily’
Savannah’s first Facebook page continues almost nothing publicly viewable, except two photos, including a profile picture with a heart around it. It says she lives in Madisonville, Tennessee.
A second page with the same profile picture and name contains this profile blurb: “I’m the daughter of two amazing and loving parents who teach me right from wrong daily luv u guys😆” The cover photo on one of the two pages is a cross.
Other photos on her page say things like “family is everything.” One graphic she shared discusses reading books. She also shared selfies. “You look like the sweet little girl you are. Pretty,” wrote one friend on one of them.
4. Pruitt’s Mother Calls Her ‘Sunshine’ & Said It’s Possible She Ran Away
Christina Pruitt, Savannah’s mother, wrote before Savannah was found, “Please help me find my sunshine.” She wrote on January 27, 2019, “Good morning day 13 still no news I’m sorry I didn’t post yesterday but I’m starting to see days already passed coming bk on my wall I ask as today is Sunday when you go to church that you say a extra prayer that my baby is found our life has stopped as we known it my sunshine is gone please dont let her poster be a memory or a forgotten prayer please keep praying and shareing for us and Savannah Pruitt.”
Savannah’s mother and aunt wrote early on that she might have run away. “This is my daughter Savannah Pruitt she is missing she ranway this morning and she took not only her self but my sunshine my rock a piece of my life please help me to find my baby girl and bring her home safe to me she’s 14 and her last ping I found was in ky please bring me my baby girl,” Christina wrote on January 14, 2019.
“Please continue to pray and share. We love and miss her and want her home safe and sound,” wrote one family member, Brittany Pruitt, on Facebook.
“Please please pray for my neice (sic), my brother and sister in law and my other nieces and nephews and the rest of my family,” she wrote. “Savannah Pruitt ran away early this morning and her last pinged location was somewhere in KY. Pray for her safety and strength for the family. Pray for her speedy return. Savannah we love you and miss you. Please come home.”
5. Authorities Say the Teen’s Cell Phone Pinged in Kentucky
According to NBC News, the one clue in the case early on derived from Pruitt’s cell phone.
Fillyaw said at the press conference Savannah has two cellphones. Those phones “pinged the morning of Jan. 14 near a welcome center in the Corbin, Kentucky, area,” the television network reported, indicating that the location is about 130 miles from her home.
NBC reports that the teen “may have been traveling north to an unknown destination.”