In vigil, family and friends pray for safe return of missing teacher

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 11:28 PM EDT
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SANDERSVILLE, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been almost a week now. Search efforts in Washington County coming up short for another day. First grade teacher Tina Prince disappeared last Friday night while she was out having dinner with her family. Tonight family and friends held a vigil praying for a safe return.

It was a packed service. Both the floor and the balcony were full with people from the community some people I talked to didn’t even know Tina, but they came out to support her family. Cameras were not allowed into the prayer service but we did go in.

During the service, one of Prince’s co-workers read a poem about her classroom and how much she loved her students. Her family did not speak but a pastor gave a statement on their behalf. They thanked the community and law enforcement for doing everything they can to help find Tina.

They also said: “Our hearts are truly broken. We believe in the power of prayer especially for the people or person that may be responsible for Tina’s disappearance. Tina if you’re out there an you hear this message please know your family loves you.”

We spoke to her nephew and the sheriff who were thankful for the support from those who showed up tonight.

“It’s amazing just to see the members of the community be in there. Wanting to honor aunt Tina as a person, being there with each other is was very emotional, its was genuine, it wasn’t like everybody was coming there just to come there it was real,” said Mason Evans, Tina Prince’s nephew.

“Ms. Prince has and continued to touch many lives in our community and people love her. They’re just wanting to see her come home soon,” said Sheriff Joel Cochran, Washington County Sheriff.

Deputies say they did receive some more information Thursday and investigators are going through it. They are also going back to see if there are any clues and leads they might have missed.

We’re also hearing from the Washington County School District where Tina works. In a statement the superintendent says thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by her disappearance. He says they remain hopeful for her safe return and pray for comfort for loved ones and family during this time.

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