Two weeks into an expanding search for a missing 14-year old girl from Tennessee, federal and local authorities are seeking public assistance, and her devastated parents are using visceral metaphors to describe the depths of their agony and plead for the public’s help as the days Savannah Leigh Pruitt has been gone accumulate.
“It’s like having your soul ripped out of your body,” Randall Pruitt said at a press conference with authorities on Friday. “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.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) to search for the missing teen, who was last seen at her home in Madisonville, Tennessee on Jan. 13, according to the FBI and local authorities.
“At this point in time, we truly need the eyes and ears of the community,” a MCSO detective said Friday, according to ABC Knoxville affiliate WATE.
The Pruitt family had just moved back to Madisonville from Lawrenceville, Ga. in late December, according to Randall Pruitt, who opened up about his daughter alongside his wife, Savannah’s mother, Christina Pruitt, on Friday, WATE reported.
Savannah loves horses, her pet raccoon and other family farm animals, her parents said on Friday, WATE reported, noting that the only time the girl’s parents managed to crack a smile through tears was when they talked about their daughter’s love for the family farm.
“We’re very heartbroken,” Christina Pruitt said Friday of the oldest of her four children. “I miss her. I don’t understand…none of us understand.”
“We love her dearly and we want her home — I love you, and come home,” the Pruitt parents said, finishing each other’s sentences, according to WATE.
“We are asking for public assistance in finding Savannah Leigh Pruitt,” Sheriff Tommy Jones said in the post. “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.”
A dispatcher at the Monroe Sheriff’s office told ABC News the detective was not immediately available to talk about the case, but the FBI confirmed the agency’s involvement in the case in a press release this week.
Pruitt is white, 5 feet and 3 inches, 110 pounds and has blonde hair and blue eyfes.
“She may have traveled to the Corbin KY area,’ the MCSO’s Facebook post said.
ABC News’ Soo Youn contributed to this report.