Photo of Timeka Donyale Pridgen whose been missing for twelve years
Age Progression to 19 years. She will be turning 28 this year.
Case Type: Endangered Missing
LA GRANGE, N.C. — Family of a missing teenager who vanished over one decade ago in La Grange, North Carolina, just east of Goldsboro, still need answers.
Timeka Pridgen, known as ‘Meka’ by friends and family, was 16-years-old when she was last seen at her Lenoir County home on May 12, 2001.
Pridgen’s mother, Cosandra Best, told journalist the last time she saw her daughter was at approximately 10PM on the night of May 12, 2001 in their living room on South Street in La Grange. She (Best) had come up and decided to relax and wait for her boyfriend, then 31-year-old Eric Moore. Instead she ended up falling asleep and didn’t wake up until midnight. By then, her boyfriend still didn’t show up and her daughter was gone.
“I started looking around to see if anything was missing, and I saw that the shoes that she was wearing was still there (and) her purse. That’s when the panic set in,” Best would later tell journalist.
After her daughter disappeared, Best learned from police that her boyfriend, Moore, had a dark past which included convictions for a sex crime, kidnapping, assault and theft. However, there is no proof that Best’s former boyfriend had anything to do with Pridgen’s disappearance.
Eric E Mercer-Moore
Wounds and closure will never go away for the family of Pridgen, who still reaches out over a decade after her disappearance. Torin Fisher, Pridgen’s sister, reached out to media by writing on CNN iReport, in February, 2011, almost 10 years after the teen went missing. The report said;
Torin Fisher from Kinston North Carolina. It’s been nearly 10 years since my sister Timeka Pridgen has went missing & its been difficult to deal with at times knowing the case is still open. The last time i saw my sister i was 12, we visited our father who was recovering from a heart attack, now im 23.
Here is more on the story:
It was May 12th of 2001 when 16 year old Timeka Pridgen of La Grange went missing. She has never been heard from or seen again.
Her mother, Cosandra Best, says she was taking a nap, waiting for her boyfriend, a relationship she was about to end…the night her daughter disappeared. She says her daughter brought her the phone and said he would be there in five minutes. That’s when Cosandra says she drifted back to sleep. “The next thing I heard was a door closing and a car driving off.”
When Cosandra woke up her daughter was nowhere to be found. “She, um left her shoes, her purse and it had money in her purse. This evening it rained and was cool and I knew she would not have walked out without her shoes on.”
Cosandra says Timeka had no reason to runaway. She describes her as a typical teen who had a love for drawing and her friends…friends who didn’t know where she was. Neither did Cosandra’s soon to be ex-boyfriend, who claims he was never there that night. Cosandra says, “My first gut instinct was he definitely knew what happened.”
But Cosandra says neither he, or anyone else, would be an immediate focus for police. Cosandra believes the investigation into her daughter’s disappearance was hindered because of the outcome of a missing persons case weeks earlier, involving a classmate of Timeka’s. “And lots and lots of resources were poured into that and it turned out to be a hoax.”
Cosandra says it wasn’t until a year later, at the insistence of an advocate on her behalf, that an SBI agent was assigned to the case.
Nine years later Cosandra says she would like to talk to her former boyfriend again about her daughter’s disappearance. He no longer lives in La Grange, but she knows how to get ahold of him. He’s in a North Carolina prison.
Eric Mercer Moore was convicted in 2006 on attempted second degree sexual offense. He’s serving twelve years behind bars. State records show years before Timeka went missing…he was convicted of second degree sex offense and kidnapping, served time and was released.
WITN called Eastern Correctional where Moore is currently behind bars, and requested an interview. Officials at the prison told us his answer was, “Absolutely not.”
Just like Timeka’s disappearance, whether Moore has any information that could help in this case will remain a mystery.
Cosandra continues to hold out hope that her daughter is still alive. As she reminisces over those drawings of hers, she hopes that one day, Timeka just might be able to finish the one she was working on when she vanished. “Everyday I miss her and I want so badly to know where she is and what happened.”
All Im Asking Mrs. Nancy Is For Help & For anyone to come forward who may have seen her.
DESCRIPTION: At the time Tameka Pridgen went missing, she had braces, light brown highlights and both her ears were double pierced.
DOB: Sep 8, 1984 Sex: Female Race: Black
Age then: 16 Age Now: 28
Height: 5’7″ (170 cm) Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)
Hair Color: Brown Eye Color: Brown
Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Tameka D. Pridgen is asked to please contact: La Grange Police Department 252-527-5117