Although the wind extinguished their candles, friends and family of Emily Tipsword hoped to guide the missing 16-year-old home with prayer.
They gathered at Davenport Central High school, which is a spot that holds a special place in Emily’s heart.
“When we lived here this was the focus on Emily’s life,” said her mom, Wanetta Tipsword. “From sports to marching band, she marched on this field with a giant tuba that’s like two times her size.”
Those memories even more precious to Wanetta now that she hasn’t seen her daughter in three weeks.
“Just thinking of all the things that we do do together and all the things that we’ve done,” Wanetta said. “Not having her there is really, it’s just hard.”
Although her daughter is missing, Wanetta’s family got a little bigger Thursday night. Emily’s biological grandmother, Sheila Coblentz, came to the vigil and the two women were able to meet for the first time.
“She’s my granddaughter. She hasn’t been in my life the last eight years. She’s been with Wanetta — she’s here mom,” Coblentz said. “We’re still all family. We just want her home.”
She came with a gift for Wanetta: a Polaroid picture of Emily from when she was just 11 months old.
“I thought Wanett awould like to have it,” Coblentz said.
“It’s my first little picture because I adopted her at eight years old and so it means a lot to have that little thing [from] before I even knew her,” Wanetta said.
Now Wanetta has to head back to Colorado to be with her other kids, but she knows that friends and family will continue the search here.
“I love you, [Emily]. We all love you. Just come home,” Coblentz said.
A spokesperson for the Davenport Police Department said there are no updates in Emily’s missing persons case. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Piffer at 563-888-3623 or CFSI at 512-887-3519.