By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
A prepared statement from the Tucker County Sheriff’s Department was provided for an update on the status of Tabitha Witemore who has been missing since May 27, 2020. The statement was emailed from Chief Deputy M.J. Sigley, and stated the following.
“On Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at approximately 1048 hours, Deputy B.T. Zirk responded to a missing 17 year old female (Tabitha Witemore) of Hambleton W.V. Cpl. Zirk along with WVSP searched the area and never contacted the missing juvenile. Cpl. Zirk along with other Deputies and WVSP spoke with several of Tabitha’s friends and family. Cpl. Zirk had E911 enter Tabitha into the NCIC as a missing/runaway juvenile.
Deputies have contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who made flyers and placed them over several different locations in WV and surrounding states. Deputies have done several search warrants for different apps on cell phones and gaming systems. Deputies have been in contact with U.S. Marshall Services, FBI, and the Fusion Center for assistance.
Deputies are awaiting results from the search warrants sent out. At this time, Tabitha has not been located and is still a missing/runaway juvenile. Any information regarding this case would be appreciated. Citizens providing any information can contact the Tucker County Sheriff’s Office at 304-478-2321 or the Tucker County E911 at 304-478-2187.”
Witemore’s grandmother and legal guardian Pamela Roberts said “Everything was fine, she went to bed and then she was gone,” Roberts confirmed. They called the police arrived on scene and took down the information. Approximately three days later, Roberts stated that officers then returned to search her room. Roberts admitted that she was unsure of what Tabitha was wearing when she disappeared because the clothes she went to bed in that night, the last time she saw her, were there in the room so she apparently changed.
Police took her phone to seek out warrants for information relating to the communication apps that were in use in hopes to find a lead to her potential whereabouts. Roberts stated that her and other family members have been searching tirelessly and putting ads up on local billboards to help spread the word. “We have no clue, we’re no farther now than we were,” said Roberts. “Had we had been arguing I could have understood it,” however that was far from the case. Roberts said she and Witemore were working together on a cookbook for her culinary course and were trying out many homemade recipes. “I don’t know where to go from here,” she said discouragingly.
Roberts fears the requirement of masks in many public places is hindering the potential progress of someone potentially seeing her. “I just can’t believe Tabby has been on billboards in West Virginia and no one has seen her,” she added. The family has printed off posters and placed them throughout the county and neighboring counties as well as putting the notices up on the billboard.
Roberts said she fears she was talking with an older man through an online platform and took off with him. She confirmed there were messages on the phone from a male individual that she had told she was going to run away. When Roberts saw these messages, she approached Tabby about these threats to which she assured she wasn’t going to run away, but just told this person that so he would leave her alone. Unfortunately, the very next morning is when she came up missing.
Roberts said, in the case that Tabby would see this article, she wanted her to know that, “We love her and want her home.” She also urges everyone to be on the lookout and to check barns, cabins, and other potential dwellings especially on larger parcels of land that could potentially inhabit an individual.