Sam Tapp Vanished In 2004, Sisters Release Touching Letters In Hopes Of Reaching Her

Authorities said Sam Tapp went missing from Burleson, Texas in 2004. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) she may use the alias last name Vandiver. If you have any information on where Sam could be, please contact NCMEC directly: 1-800-THE-LOST.

Sam Tapp at 16 years old [left]; Sam Tapp age-progressed to 32 years old [right].

Samantha (Sam) Tapp went missing from Burleson, Texas in October 2004 when she was 16 years old.

Photo by: NCMEC

NCMEC

By: Michelle Sigona

On Oct. 12, 2004, authorities said Samantha (Sam) Tapp disappeared from Burleson, Texas. Since then, her family, friends, and loved ones have never given up in the search to find her. Sam was only 16-years-old when she went missing.

In July 2022, on Sam's 34th birthday, her sister's released two letters to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The women, only identified as Kendale and Vanessa, are hoping the messages reach their sister.

According to a report posted on Reddit, Sam and her older sister, Kendale, came from a difficult family situation and spent time in foster care as children. When their foster mother could no longer care for them, the girls split up to stay with different relatives (Sam with an aunt and Kendale with their grandparents), before Sam eventually joined Kendale with their grandparents in Burleson. On Oct. 12, 2004, Sam reportedly left her grandparents’ home and went to her sister's house. After she left her sister’s home, she went missing and hasn’t been seen since.

Kendale said over these years she has so many unanswered questions and she wants Sam to know how much she is loved. Kendale wrote, "Your 34th birthday is bittersweet. I've not gotten to celebrate this special day with you for the past 18 years. The last time we celebrated together was three months before you went missing in 2004. I miss you every single day. I imagine what your life is like. Are you married? Do you have kids? Did you follow your dreams to become a vet? Are you still singing? Do you know that I've never stopped looking for you? Do you know that I love you?."

Kendale goes on to mention, although these days, weeks, and years have been incredibly sad, her sister's birthday is a time for celebration but also a time to mourn, "... in your absence my joy is replaced by tears. Tears that come no matter how hard I try to hold them back because, for another year I've lived with the questions of what your life might look like, and without those answers I'm not able to properly celebrate."

Sam's other sister, Vanessa, shared her personal thoughts and questions as well. Her hope is somehow, someway, Sam will read the letters. Vanessa wrote, "It’s been so long that they’re fragments of memories left, some innocent, some not, that’s being young and wild for you. The only way I can put things is in letter form to you, it makes me feel you may someday read it. The earliest bits and pieces are from middle school with your thick brown hair, oval glasses, and hilarious laugh. The goofiest sense of humor to match it and your willingness to accept me and all my weirdness. I knew I had a friend for life."

Although there were many wonderful memories, according to Vanessa, there was a period of time when she felt a disconnect, "I know after freshman year things really started changing and you were treated unfairly by important people in your life and forced to leave your sister. You were so young trying to navigate life away from your sister, who was your rock, and everyone else you knew. You must have been so scared. Looking back on it now, I feel you felt like you had no other choice but to do those things you were doing."

Vanessa added to her letter released by NCMEC, "You pushed people away because you felt you weren’t wanted, or people would be disappointed in your choices. I remember the pain in your voice when you’d call me and eventually I felt like you were drifting away from me."

Vanessa concluded, "I hope when you read this you smile and realize you never really left because you are always with me, in a thought, a dream, a song, in the moon and the stars. Who you are is a big piece of me! My favorite memory is becoming your best friend."

Sam Tapp was born on July 25, 1988. According to NCMEC, she is a white female with brown hair, brown eyes. It's possible she could be between 5'4" - 5-6" inches tall and at the time of her disappearance, she weighed 120 pounds.

If you have any information on where Sam Tapp could be, please contact NCMEC directly: 1-800-THE-LOST.

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