Family says Emily Tipsword ‘safe and with family’


The family of Emily Tipsword describes the last few weeks as one of the longest months they can remember.

They’re expressing relief after the 16-year-old girl was found safe and sound July 24.

Emily has been reunited with her family after seen was last seen June 28.

Emily’s mother Wanetta Tipsword told Local 4 and Fox 18 News she was found outside of the Quad City area.

She said the main thing Emily wants people to know is she is happy to be back with family and people care about her safety. 

She was located by Davenport Police Detective Bureau.

It ends nearly four weeks of worrying by Emily’s family and friend.

Those who spoke with Local 4 and Fox 18 News after Emily was found said they are still waiting to learn more about where Emily has been, details of her disappearance and how she took care of herself for the last month.

The primary emotion they’re expressing is a feeling of relief and joy she is back safe.

Emily’s Friend Autumn Thurman said, “I had tears of joy in my eyes. I was crying,”

It’s the news Autumn Thurman has been waiting to hear for weeks after her friend Emily Tipsword went missing at the end of June.

Thurman said, “She is one of my closest friends. She has been in marching band, band, orchestra, she used to be in cross country and track with me.”

Thurman said she met Emily in elementary school and was shocked when here missing poster started to circulate. 

Thurman said, “Really surprising; it’s not like her to do that.”

Thurman isn’t alone in the comfort knowing Emily has been found.
For her family, it’s peace of mind. 

Emily’s Aunt Shelly Ortiz said, “Just thankful that she’s safe and it back with the family.”

Emily and her family were in the Quad Cities visiting family and friends after moving to Colorado a few months ago.
Shelly Ortiz, Emily’s aunt, said she is still waiting to learn additional details about Emily’s disappearance but is focused on the news this search has ended.

Ortiz said, “From what I have been notified, she is doing great. She is completely safe. She is happy to be back with the family.”

For Ortiz, she said the community and social media have also provided her family with a lot of support.

“I’ve even met new people in the community that didn’t even know Emily. They just heard about her, and they were out putting up posters and asking people who were walking by have you seen her,” said Ortiz.

It’s a message spread far and wide.

Ortiz said, “It was all over the United States that she was missing.”

Thurman said it’d taught her a lesson she’ll never forget.

Thurman said, “Should always cherish your friends and family. Tell them you love them. Always keep them close.”

Thurman said she had yet to speak or see Emily. 

Wanetta had returned to Colorado earlier in the week but left late July 24, driving through the night and morning to make it back to the Quad Cities.

Local 4 and Fox 18 News also reached out to Davenport Police. They said Wednesday they are following up on the case but have no additional details to release at this time. 

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