In search for missing Washington County teacher, ‘We definitely feel like her safety is in jeopardy’

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SANDERSVILLE, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The search continues for a missing Washington County teacher. Tina Prince was having a meal with family and friends on Friday at a restaurant in Sandersville when she walked out and they haven’t seen her since.

On Wednesday, the FBI joined the investigation into the disappearance of Prince. Police also released these photos. This is her in a local convenience store sometime after she left the restaurant.

These images show Tina Pince at a Sandersville convenience store — after she vanished.
These images show Tina Pince at a Sandersville convenience store — after she vanished.(WRDW)

We spoke with a friend of hers today who says these last 5 days have been heart-wrenching to say the least.

“She just said she was trying to you know, stay focused on her family because that was the most important thing to her,” said Crystal Lewis, a friend of Tina Prince.

The streets of downtown Sandersville are eerily quiet. For the last five days, this town has been shaken by a mystery.

“Obviously we have so many questions, everybody has questions about how this could have even happen in the first place, why?” said Lewis.

While eating with family and friends Friday night 46-year-old Tina Prince walked out of Puebla’s Mexican Restaurant to take a call.

“She just vanished,” said Sheriff Joel Cochran, Washington County.

Crystal Lewis is a friend of Prince. She says the last time they spoke she seemed happy.

What was your first reaction when you heard that she was missing?

“Disbelief. It kind of just takes you out of reality for a moment. You wonder again ‘I’m sorry what did I just hear?’ and ‘Are you sure you have the right person?,” she said.

After walking out of the restaurant police say Prince had what appears to be a consensual meeting with a man at Walmart. Next she’s seen at a convenience store in these surveillance videos. Police have searched on foot and by air but they have no leads on where she might be.

“To say that she’s in danger. I don’t know that, but we definitely feel like her safety is definitely in jeopardy,” said Sheriff Cochran.

“It’s just really, really scary,” said Lewis.

As Tina’s picture hangs in storefront windows the only thing left to do for her family and friends is wait, wonder, and hope.

“The happy ending? Finding her alive obviously. Somewhere and bringing her back to her family safety,” said Lewis.

Copyright 2021 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.