LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. — The Loudon County Sheriff's Office, with the help of other East Tennessee agencies, continued search efforts on land and in the water for a missing Lenoir City woman.
Deputies believe Elisha Carpenter was last seen walking from her home at River Manor Apartments in Lenoir City at around 2 a.m. on Friday, March 15.
Carpenter's husband, T.J., reported her missing around 2 p.m. the same day.
Authorities described Carpenter, 31, as a white female, standing at 5’1", 110 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was wearing light green pajama pants and a pink hoodie.
The mother of three had struggled with drug and mental problems, but was working hard to change that, according to family and friends.
"She was supposed to have a visit with her children Saturday at noon. It's not like her to miss a visit with her kids," Carpenter's mother, Lisa Ricketson, said.
Ricketson is worried that someone may have harmed her daughter.
"It was about two or three weeks ago, she called me and said, 'Mom, if I never see you again, just know I love you.' I know we've had our differences, but she said, 'You're my mom and I love you.' That's the last thing she said to me," Ricketson said.
According to Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis and Detective Sergeant Charlie Cosner, multiple leads are being investigated, both on land and in water.
K-9s from Campbell County scouted properties and abandoned structures near Elisha's apartment complex, while divers explored the waters below the Ft. Loudon Dam on Monday, March 18.
“Early reports from family and witnesses provided several scenarios that have led our search efforts to both surrounding properties and nearby waterways” said Cosner. “We have reasons to believe that the female may have entered a nearby lake, so we are searching that area by boat and have deployed our dive team to help in the underwater search as well. On land we have deployed deputies to search nearby buildings, warehouses and abandoned structures, in the event that the missing female entered one of those".
Chief Deputy Jimmy Davis says that multiple resources have already been deployed and that the LCSO team will continue to use all of those resources until all leads have been explored.
“While this case presents a multitude of scenarios, we need more information from someone out there. Someone out there may posses the information into this case that will help us find Elisha Carpenter, and we need anyone who does have that information to come forward and contact our Detective’s Division”, said Davis.
Carpenter's family and friends are hopeful for her safe return.
"I just want her to call me and hear the words, 'I love you, Mom,' again would be so heart soothing right now," Ricketson, said.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Elisha Carpenter, you are asked to call the Loudon County E-911 Communications Center at (865) 458-9081 or dial 911.