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Missing woman’s family needs closure

Vigil held Sunday for Tammy Grady

Posted on November 22, 2021

Updated on November 23, 2021

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Pictures of 35-year-old Tammy Grady sit on a picnic table Sunday at Toisnot Park. Family members held a vigil to mark the second anniversary of her disappearance.

Olivia Neeley | Times

Pictures of 35-year-old Tammy Grady sit on a picnic table Sunday at Toisnot Park. Family members held a vigil to mark the second anniversary of her disappearance.

Horace Grady, right, holds a lit candle during Sunday's vigil at Toisnot Park to remember his sister, Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago.

Olivia Neeley | Times

Horace Grady, right, holds a lit candle during Sunday's vigil at Toisnot Park to remember his sister, Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago.

Christy Ruffin, left, and 8-year-old granddaughter Madasti Hines light candles Sunday at Toisnot Park to remember their missing loved one, 35-year-old Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago. Grady's mother, Emma Bridgers, right, holds two candles in memory of her daughter.

Olivia Neeley | Times

Christy Ruffin, left, and 8-year-old granddaughter Madasti Hines light candles Sunday at Toisnot Park to remember their missing loved one, 35-year-old Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago. Grady's mother, Emma Bridgers, right, holds two candles in memory of her daughter.

Pictures of 35-year-old Tammy Grady sit on a picnic table Sunday at Toisnot Park. Family members held a vigil to mark the second anniversary of her disappearance.

Olivia Neeley | Times

Pictures of 35-year-old Tammy Grady sit on a picnic table Sunday at Toisnot Park. Family members held a vigil to mark the second anniversary of her disappearance.

Horace Grady, right, holds a lit candle during Sunday's vigil at Toisnot Park to remember his sister, Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago.

Olivia Neeley | Times

Horace Grady, right, holds a lit candle during Sunday's vigil at Toisnot Park to remember his sister, Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago.

Horace Grady, right, holds a lit candle during Sunday's vigil at Toisnot Park to remember his sister, Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago.
Christy Ruffin, left, and 8-year-old granddaughter Madasti Hines light candles Sunday at Toisnot Park to remember their missing loved one, 35-year-old Tammy Grady, who disappeared two years ago. Grady's mother, Emma Bridgers, right, holds two candles in memory of her daughter.
Pictures of 35-year-old Tammy Grady sit on a picnic table Sunday at Toisnot Park. Family members held a vigil to mark the second anniversary of her disappearance.

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7879

Destini Ruffin misses everything about her aunt.

“I miss her hugs,” she said. “I miss her kisses. I miss her making me laugh.”

Ruffin was of more than a dozen family members and friends who gathered at Toisnot Park for a sunset vigil to remember 35-year-old Tammy Grady. Wednesday marks two years since her disappearance.

“I really miss her,” Destini Ruffin said through tears. “She was more than just an aunt, she was definitely like a big sister.”

Wilson police haven’t said whether foul play is suspected in Grady’s disappearance. Police say Grady’s case is still open and under investigation.

MESSAGES FROM THE HEART

Tears were shed as relatives and friends lit candles and held a moment of silence. Grady’s family hopes by keeping her story alive, they will one day find closure.

“Tammy, I miss you,” her brother, Horace Grady, said as he blew out his candle.

The group wrote messages on heart-shaped pink balloons and released them into the evening sky.

Police say Grady was last seen at the Heart of Wilson motel on Nash Street at 10:21 a.m. Nov. 24, 2019, getting into a cab alone and proceeding toward downtown Wilson.

Grady hasn’t been active on social media since her disappearance. The last time she made a transaction was on Nov. 23, 2019, when she used her food benefits card in Wilson, police previously said.

Christy Ruffin, Grady’s sister, last spoke to her shortly after 11 p.m. the day before she went missing. Her family hasn’t heard from her since. While Grady lived a transient lifestyle, she always checked in with her family. That’s why relatives knew something wasn’t right and reported her missing.

A DAILY STRUGGLE

Grady’s mother, Emma Bridgers, said it’s a daily struggle not being able to bring her daughter home to a final resting place.

She hopes someone will hear her cries.

“Somebody out there knows what happened to Tammy,” her mother said. “They need to speak up so we can get peace and closure for the family. Help us bring Tammy home. Your soul don’t rest until you’re put to rest. Tammy wasn’t put to rest. It’s hard as a mama not to know where your child is.”

Bridgers said regardless of her daughter’s lifestyle, she still had a good heart. She said her daughter also had a giving spirit.

“Tammy was a good girl,” her mother said. “I don’t care about what everybody thinks about her. People aren’t perfect, but she’s still my young’un regardless. She didn’t deserve what she got. She wasn’t a thing; she was a person. She was a human being.”

‘WE ARE HER VOICE’

Ruffin said she’s grateful to those who attended to the vigil to remember her sister.

“It means a lot to me,” she said. “It’s really what it’s all about. It’s all about Tammy.”

Grady’s mother agreed.

“We are her voice,” Bridgers said. “We will always be Tammy’s voice.”

Christy Ruffin’s 8-year-old granddaughter, Madasti Hines, wrote several notes to Grady on Sunday.

“We love and miss you,” she wrote. “Please come back.”

TIPS SOUGHT; $15,000 REWARD

Team Cold Case is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to Grady’s location or the apprehension of those responsible for her presumed death. The tip line is 252-406-6736.

Police ask anyone with information on Tammy Grady’s case to call the Wilson Police Department at 252-399-2323.

To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 252-243-2255.

Tipsters also can call private investigator Larry Amaker at 252-562-9372 or private investigator Randall Rabenold at 704-488-1555.

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