Exclusive: Missing Selma teen's mom finds new hope

A mother grieves at not knowing where her daughter is.
A mother grieves at not knowing where her daughter is.
Tarasha has been missing for 16 months.
Tarasha has been missing for 16 months.

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - The mother of a missing Selma teen speaks exclusively with WSFA 12 News about the new hope she has after appearing on national television.

Tarasha Benjamin has been missing for over a year. Now the family and police hope the national attention will shed light on this cold case.

"No clues, no word, no nothing," Selma resident Regina Benjamin said. Benjamin says she still cries herself to sleep.

"I don't think she's dead. And I'm not going to think that until I found the body or assume differently," Benjamin said.

After almost 16 months of tireless searching for her missing daughter, Tarasha, who turned 19 a few weeks ago, a t-shirt is the closest thing to a birthday celebration this mother has.

"She left with a girl that stayed down the street with me, say they were going to the flea market. But the girl came back later without Tarasha and I haven't seen her since," Benjamin said.

This is the first time Regina has spoken after her appearance on "The Maury Show" Thursday.

"I felt like I needed more media; wasn't nothing else going on 'round here. I know a lot more people can see and lot of people watch The Maury Show," Benjamin said.

She says it was taped in August. A psychic came to her home, entered Tarsha's room and gave Regina a new hope.

"That she's not dead. That somebody has her that's close to my family all the time and that she's not afraid. But she will be coming home," Benjamin said.

Regina believes her daughter is in Florida being held against her will.

"And I know there's people out there that knows something that is not telling me. But if it were they kid, I know I would if I could help," Benjamin said.

Police believe she's no longer in Selma.

"Selma, she's not here because we done tore Selma up and down looking for Tarasha Benjamin," Selma Police Department Lead Investigator Ronald Jones said.

Cecil Jackson Bypass is the last place Tarasha Benjamin was seen. The SUV she was driving was later found here. This seems to be a cold case but the family says they are not giving up until she's found.

"Try all over again and pursue it to the very end and hopefully we won't stop until we bring her home," Tarasha's cousin Reneda White said.

A new hope, a new search and hopefully a new lead.

Police say this is an active case. If you have any information, please call the Selma Police Department's Secret Witness hotline at 334-824-1290.

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