A law enforcement official confirmed that a man detained at a Kentucky gas station on Wednesday night is a suspect in the disappearance of a 14-year-old Tennessee girl whose been missing for over two weeks.
The official reportedly told local Kentucky outlet WKOA that a male suspect was detained at a Marathon gas station in Leitchfield, Kentucky, off of 800 block of South Main Street. An employee at the store told the outlet that the suspect walked into the store at around 6 p.m. When he walked out of the store, authorities surrounded him as “several FBI agents took him to the ground.”
Leitchfield Police Department Sgt. Robert Jackson reportedly took the man to Leitchfield Police Department for questioning afterward. The suspect’s vehicle, which had Tennessee license plates, was later towed. No one else was in the car with him when he arrived at the gas station.
The suspect’s name is not yet known, but he was described as around 5-feet-8-inches tall and “chunky.”
The @MonroeTNSheriff and @FBIKnoxville say #MissingChild has ties to Lawrenceville GA. If you have seen 14-yr old Savannah Leigh Pruitt please call Sheriff at 423-442-HELP https://t.co/nRlRZmO1aJ pic.twitter.com/PMYoAEZa5m
— FBI Atlanta (@FBIAtlanta) January 26, 2019
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Savannah vanished from her Madisonville, Tennessee, home on January 13 at around 11 p.m. Monroe County Sheriff Tommy Jones is asking the public to be on the lookout for her. Two weeks have passed with no word from the girl, which concerns authorities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working alongside Tennessee law enforcement in attempt to bring her home.
Savannah reportedly has two cellphones. One of the phones pinged close to Corbin, Kentucky, on January 14 at around 5:30 a.m. Corbin is around 130 miles from Madisonville. Both phones are now turned off and Savannah hasn’t been active on social media since she disappeared.
Detective Jason Fillyaw with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said he doesn’t think the teen wanted to run away, but he also doesn’t think she met someone online who wanted to abduct her.
“There has been nothing in any of that reporting that led us to believe that she intended to run away or was speaking with anybody that would try to abduct her,” Fillyaw said.
Savannah’s parents said they couldn’t think of reason why she would want to run away.
“She’s never misbehaved or been a bad kid, ever,” Savannah’s dad, Randall Pruitt, told WVLT-TV. “This is way out in left field for her…..Life has just ceased for us.”
The girl’s mom, Christina Pruitt, described her as bubbly and warm, and someone who adores animals so much she’s been nicknamed “farm girl.”
“We’re very heartbroken,” Christina Pruitt said Friday. “I miss her. I don’t understand…none of us understand.”
The family moved to Madisonville less than a month before Savannah disappeared. They moved from Lawrenceville, Georgia, in late December, according to NBC. Yet, they lived in Tennessee previously. Savannah reportedly enjoys the area because she can spend time with animals on the family farm.
Both Kentucky and Georgia authorities are aware of the missing girl and are actively involved in trying to find her. She’s described as a white female who stands 5-feet-3-inches tall and weighs around 110 pounds. She has blue eyes and brown hair.
“This is the first time they’ve had any child gone for this length of time, and that worries us,” Jones added. “We truly need the eyes and ears of the community.”
Anyone with any information on Savannah’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department at 423-442-3911.
[Feature Photo: Savannah Pruitt/Handout]