by: Tina Terry Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The family of missing teacher Bianca Tanner is in Charlotte Friday to join in the search for the 31-year-old.
On Thursday, police told Channel 9 they are investigating her disappearance as a homicide.
Neighbors where Tanner had just moved to were heartbroken to find out that this is now a homicide investigation.
Despite what police have said, they are hoping her family will be able to find her alive.
“I didn’t know her, never had a conversation with her. (I) waved at her a couple of times, but that was all,” said neighbor Jackie Harris.
But, Tanner’s photo is now engrained in the minds of her neighbors.
“This is very said. I have a 32-year-old daughter, so, it’s very said,” Harris said.
Neighbors watched Tanner move into an apartment with her boyfriend about a week ago.
The school teacher, originally from Greensboro, was slated to start a new job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, but on Sunday her boyfriend reported her missing.
He said she left home earlier that day and never returned.
Police announced Thursday they believe she's been murdered. They searched an area off Statesville Avenue for hours.
On Friday, Tanner's family and friends arrived in Charlotte to help search for her. They said this has been a stressful time.
"(It’s) hard, very hard on the family," said Tanner’s aunt, Faye Scarborough.
But they're not giving up hope that she'll be found alive.
"I ask people if they know the word of prayer to please pray that she come home safe. And if anybody knows of her whereabouts, I ask that they come forth and give what information they can to bring this child home safe because we love her so much,” Scarborough said.
Neighbors said they haven't seen Tanner's boyfriend or anyone at their apartment Friday.
Police have searched his apartment and car, but they have not officially called him a suspect.
June 12: Search for missing teacher now homicide investigation