CRIME

Marissa Patterson, Missing Teen, Found In Alabama

11/07/2012 10:03 am ET

Authorities in Alabama have located a Tennessee teen after she disappeared with her boyfriend, who is now accused in a hit-and-run incident involving her car.

According to the East Ridge Police Department, Marissa Patterson, 19, of Ringgold, who was reported missing last week, was found safe in north Alabama with boyfriend Robert Morris.

Morris, 24, was taken into custody on outstanding charges from Georgia relating to a probation violation and a hit-and-run traffic incident, police said.

Patterson disappeared from East Ridge, Tenn., Friday, after Morris allegedly was involved in an automobile accident with her car in Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., earlier that day.

"Marissa wasn't in the car at the time of the accident," Patterson's father, Bobby, told The Huffington Post. "The boyfriend had taken it and was driving her car without her knowledge ..."

Police have yet to confirm whether Marissa Patterson was in the vehicle at the time.

Patterson called her older sister at about 11 p.m. Friday and asked to be picked up at the Walgreen's in East Ridge.

According to Bobby Patterson, Morris could be heard yelling in the background during the conversation between his daughters. "When she was talking, Robert was ... cursing for her to get off the phone. He told her she didn't need to be communicating with anybody. Then Marissa said she had to go and hung up," Patterson said.

MARISSA PATTERSON PHOTOS: (Story Continues Below)

Marissa Patterson Missing

When Patterson's sister arrived at the pharmacy, her sister was gone. Her vehicle, which had extensive front-end damage, was found parked behind the store with the keys still inside, police said.

Patterson said his daughter, a graduate of Heritage High School, has been dating Morris since July. According to WRCB-TV, Morris has a criminal background that includes assault, burglary and drug charges.

"It's something that we're aware of," Robert Wade, public information officer for East Ridge police told HuffPost of Morris' history.

Patterson's friends and family members actively searched for her, distributing fliers around the area and creating the "Marissa Patterson Missing" FaceBook page.

According to Wade, authorities had received "multiple tips from various people across the state" about the couple's whereabouts.

Bobby Patterson said his family wants to "deal with the situation and move on."

Earlier on HuffPost:

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