Friend of Elizabeth Thomas fights to keep story in public eye

COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Rachel Irby has been fighting with others to keep Elizabeth Thomas' face in the public eye.  In between meetings with the Thomas family and attorneys, she agreed to meet with us in her screen printing shop this week.

"We want to keep the story alive," said Irby. "We want to keep the story going because that's how we are going to bring Elizabeth back."

Rachel Irby

Irby says she is disappointed in those who are victim shaming the teen.

"She is 15, and he is 50. And that is disgusting and no matter how you look at it, she is a victim in this case," said Irby.

That's why Irby is coordinating another vigil to spread awareness to other families.

"[How can we] stop this from happening again in our communities? How can we protect our children? How can we as a community come together and potentially even hold people accountable that are charged with taking care of our children but maybe not showing best practice in doing so," Irby explained.

The vigil will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 2 in the Columbia town square near the courthouse. All are invited.