Marissa Patterson: Missing Tennessee Teen Found, with Her Boyfriend

The pair were located by North Alabama police, safe and sound

By on November 7th, 2012 16:25 GMT
19-year-old Marissa Patterson, left her home in East Ridge, Tennessee, and was presumed missing.

The teenager was found in Alabama, following an extensive search that started last week, when she reportedly ran away with 24-year-old boyfriend Robert Morris.

The couple took off following a hit and run involving Patterson's car. The teenager's presence in the car at the time has not been confirmed; however, Morris has been arrested for the accident. He was also charged with probation violation, Huffington Post writes.

Marissa attempted to communicate with her sister after the accident, but was interrupted and stopped by her boyfriend, who the Patterson family believe was behind the idea of running away, to avoid prosecution.

"When she was talking, Robert was ... cursing for her to get off the phone. He told her she didn't need to be communicating with anybody. Then Marissa said she had to go and hung up," father Bobby Patterson said.

The conversation took place around 11 p.m. on Friday, and, as she asked to be picked up at a Walgreen's in East Ridge, relatives assumed she wasn't willing to flee the crime scene. The accident that was allegedly caused by Morris had happened the same day, in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.

Marissa's older sister arrived at the meeting point, only to find her car abandoned, with extensive damage to the front spoiler. The keys were still inside the moment she arrived, a sign that the couple had left it in a hurry.

Marissa had been dating Morris since July, despite his history of assault, burglary and drug charges. The teenager's friends and family put up fliers and announced her disappearance on Facebook.

As a result, police received "multiple tips from various people across the state," East Ridge police spokesman Robert Wade said. Authorities in North Alabama responded to the tips, and found the pair safe and sound.

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