8 Years Later: Impact of Amanda Tusing's Death on Female Drivers

DELL, AR (KAIT) -- Saturday June 14 will mark the 8 year anniversary of the disappearance and death of Amanda Tusing.

Tusing had been driving home late at night and never arrived at her parents' house.  Her car was found abandoned on the side of the road with her keys, cell phone, and purse all still inside.

Amanda's body was found several days later in a ditch.  For the past 8 years the Craighead County Sheriff's Department, FBI, Arkansas State Police, and other area agencies have been working to find out what happened to Amanda Tusing.

Since her death, many women in Region 8 have changed the way they drive.

"In years past they've never taken the dangers of driving alone seriously," said Amanda Tusing's Mom, Susan Tusing

Susan Tusing and her family have been through a lot over the past 8 years since they lost daughter.

"I think with what happened to Mandy, women are more aware of it.  They're more cautious and they're thinking, 'Remember what happened to Mandy'," said Tusing.

A lot of people do remember.  For many women in Region 8, especially those who live in town's along Highway 18, just driving along that road where she went missing makes them remember the woman who made them more aware.

"I think it's opened up everyone's eyes and made the community closer together and made them realize it can happen right in our own backyard," said Leachville resident Shirley Howard.

"This case has had a big impact on Craighead County and the state of Arkansas," said Craighead County Sheriff Jack McCann

In the past, if an officer tried to stop you and you kept going you were fleeing.  With Mandy's death, McCann said that has changed in the way they train their officers.

"Now most officers, at least in Arkansas, are aware if they see a single female in a car they most likely are going to go to a well lit area," said McCann.

"I just think with cell phones like they are you should have one with you, have it charged, have an emergency number programmed in, and don't ever stop," said Tusing.

Tusing realizes that women are more cautious, more observant, and better prepared because of her daughter.

"I'm honored that she has brought so much attention to this and she's remembered like she is.  It's just awesome to me the things I'm told.  I'm so grateful, I'm so thankful.  I hate it had to happen but if had to happen at least something good is coming out of it," said Susan Tusing.

Sheriff McCann told Region 8 News that someone out there knows something about what happened to Mandy.  He said he doesn't know why that person isn't coming forward with that information.

They encourage anyone with any information on this case to contact the Craighead County Sheriff's Department at 870-933-4551 or their local law enforcement.