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Missing teacher's family has faith she will be found

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Family members of a missing teacher who just moved from Greensboro to Charlotte are speaking out.

Bianca Tanner has been missing for nearly a week and police fear something terrible has happened to her. They have turned this missing persons case into a homicide investigation.

"We are remaining strong," Sister Cerise Richardson said. "And have faith in God that we will bring her home."

Richardson has been spending time in Charlotte passing out flyers. She is getting the word out about her sister's disappearance.

"If anyone may have seen her," Richardson said. "We beg you, let her go and return her home safely."

She says the last time she talked to her sister she was upbeat. She says her sister is special.

"She loves children," the sister said. "She already knew at a young age her purpose was to be an educator. She is very smart and intelligent. She is currently pursuing her PhD."

Richardson said her sister's students at Reedy Fork Elementary School in Greensboro are getting emotional.

"Her students are missing her so much," Richardson said. "I get texts from different students from their parents, how they are really dealing with this and taking it hard and they are ready for her to come back."

Police are working overtime on this case. They returned to the last place Tanner was seen Friday.

It was the apartment she was sharing with her boyfriend.  Police sources tell WBTV carpet was taken from the apartment to be analyzed. Tanner's boyfriend is believed to be the last person to see Bianca. Police have not named him a suspect but say people they have spoken with so far are not telling the whole truth. Tanner's boyfriend has spoken to the family about the disappearance.

"He says his main goal is to find Bianca," Richardson said. "And bring her back as well."

Bianca's sister said she is not sure whether to believe him.

"Right now, I really don't have a feeling anyway whether he did something or not. I am just focusing on where she is," said the sister.

She said this Father's Day weekend will be a challenge.  Both were planning to spend it with their dad.

"It's difficult for him," Richardson said. "He still remains firm in his belief and knowing that we will bring Bianca home, but now knowing where your daughter is and if she is ok and safe - it's just the most unimaginable thing for a parent or any person can go through."

Callers with any information can remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at (704)334-1600. There is a $5,000 reward being offered.

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