Two Years Later: Still Searching for Samantha
Thursday will mark two years since 19-year-old Samantha Clarke mysteriously disappeared. On September 13, 2010 Clarke walked out of her mother's home in Orange and was never seen again. Wednesday her mother is hoping and praying for something, anything to bring her home.
Samantha's mother, Barbara Tinder, says her daughter's disappearance is still a mystery. Even though officials are getting leads, she feels in the dark about her daughter's whereabouts, and feels the community around her has forgotten altogether.
"Not knowing where she is or if we're ever going to get to see her again - it's really hard on us," Tinder said.
Tinder's pain is still very fresh. She says Samantha's cat Snowball is all she has left of her daughter.
She met with town of Orange Police Chief James Fenwick and Commonwealth's Attorney Diana Wheeler, who have been working on the case for months now.
Tinder said, "Same thing they've been telling me since the beginning, there's nothing they can tell me, but the case is still open - and I just want answers."
Wheeler says they have leads from Greene County, which have led to searches and lake dives. "People talk about what they've heard, that's always followed up on and that's the main thing, trying to chase down every lead that we have," she said.
Tinder believes her daughter left that September night with plans of coming back home. "She has a little bag upstairs that she packs when she's planning on being gone for a couple of days or so and she did not take that - that's still upstairs," Tinder said. "I have a feeling that she was picked up."
She says now she feels like the community has forgotten about her daughter, but the passage of time won't stop Tinder and her family from spreading the word about Samantha.
"We just want her back home where she belongs. It's really tearing our family apart," said Tinder.
Wheeler says she and Chief Fenwick will continue meeting every week to put together leads. She says they do not plan to close the case anytime soon.
Reported by Molly Balkenbush