Crime scene unit searches home of missing teen as organization helps to locate

Richmond County Sheriff's Office send Crime Scene Unit to former home of Tanya Tripp to look for clues to move the case forward.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – As the search for missing Augusta teen LaTania Carwell moves into six weeks, investigators and a national organization work harder to bring her home.

NewsChannel 6 spent most of Wednesday at the place we know LaTania Carwell was last seen; her home on the 3100 block of Tate Road, across from Terrace Manor Elementary School.  Also there was Richmond County Sheriff’s Office with its Crime Scene Unit, working to find evidence that might push the case forward.  But there is another person also working to help bring LaTania home and she’s saved many other lives too.

Cathy Rhodes, the founder of Bring Our Missing Home Inc. sat down with us to share more information about the organization and how it’s helping in the Carwell case.

“No tips. No leads. Nothing,” Cathy Rhodes said of the case she’s been working on since just a few days after the teen’s disappearance.

It’s not just law enforcement looking for the missing Augusta teen who’s story has spread across the country. A national organization for missing and exploited children jumped on the case and is working to help bring LaTania Carwell home.

“Every missing person needs a voice,” said Rhodes who has been doing this kind of work since 2002. “If I can be that voice I’m going to be that voice.”

And she has been. Rhodes, who works as the founder for Bring Our Missing Home Inc., started searching for Carwell a few days after she left her Augusta home with her stepdad, 38-year-old Leon Tripp. Now that both Leon and Tanya Tripp have been arrested in connection with the case, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is working on its next move, with crime scene investigators searching the home Tanya abandoned.

NewsChannel 6 learned the Tate Road home is actually in Tanya’s deceased mother’s name, Faye Carwell, and the Marshal’s office served an eviction notice there Monday, but Tanya had already joined up with her husband in Atlanta.

“When I talked with Mrs. Tripp earlier I told her we would continue looking for her daughter,” Carwell said of the case.

Rhodes plans to push another flyer with Carwell’s photos out statewide for tips or leads in hopes of starting a search.

“There is everything that we can do. Water search teams, sonars,” Rhodes said, adding that she also has drones too.

The reward for LaTania Carwell’s location has been increased to $1,000.  We are still working to get more information about which agency has Tanya and Leon Tripp, but we know both are in police custody in metro Atlanta.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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