The disappearance of North Carolina Starbucks employee Allison Cope during her shift on June 26 is so mysterious that the FBI has stepped in to assist local police in bringing her home safely. According to co-workers and investigators, Cope vanished without a trace during a work break at about 3 p.m. on Monday. At the time of her disappearance, Allison Cope was in the middle of her shift at the Starbucks inside Raleigh-Durham International Airport. When she failed to return for work, she was reported missing to local police.
According to detectives, Allison Cope left both the Starbucks and airport parking lot of her own volition. As ABC News reports, she left the parking lot in a 2014 silver Ford Fusion with North Carolina plates EHA 2771. The Starbucks employee was later captured on a Shell gas station surveillance camera in Wake Forest at about 4:15 p.m.. The gas station is reportedly located roughly 25 miles from the Starbucks where she works.
Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department released a statement on Thursday, indicating that the review of the surveillance tapes didn't indicate that Allison Cope was acting against her will or in any kind of distress at the time, a factor that only adds to the mystery of her disappearance.
"Airport police have thoroughly reviewed the video and there is no evidence that she is under any distress."In addition to seeing no signs of distress on the gas station surveillance video, airport police added that their surveillance doesn't indicate that any crimes were committed on or near the airport at the time of Allison Cope's disappearance on Monday.
The lack of evidence in the disappearance of Allison Cope is extremely disturbing to Sarah Kosinski, the Starbucks employee's roommate and good friend. According to Kosinski, she believes Allison left work during her break because of a text she sent asking her roommate if her car registration papers may have been inside Allison Cope's Fusion.
What's more, a distraught Kosinski said during a recent interview that there was no reason that Allison Cope would "just disappear" of her own free will. Additionally, when Allison left work for her break, she reportedly left her phone and purse behind, taking just her keys and debit card.
"Allison would never just disappear without telling anyone."According to Allison Cope's roommate, she and Allison had an upcoming gig scheduled to work as wedding photographers on July 13, not to mention plans to go on vacation together in the near future. Shelley Lynch, an FBI spokesperson, has publicly confirmed that the bureau is aiding local police with their investigation of the Starbucks worker's disappearance. However, according to Lynch, there is nothing terribly unusual about the inter-department teamwork. Also, according to Lynch, the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department is taking point on the investigation, despite the FBI's involvement in the case.
"The FBI is assisting our local law enforcement partners with the RDU airport police. It is standard practice for the FBI to assist state and local law enforcement partners when we may have an technique or tool that could be useful in their investigation. Any additional questions should be directed to RDU."Allison Cope has been described as being in her mid-20s. She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and is five-feet, six-inches tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds. Per the surveillance video, Cope was last spotted in her black Starbucks polo top, jeans, and black sports shoes.
Cope's silver Ford Fusion also has the distinction of featuring a Change of Heart Pit Bull Rescue sticker on the back window. Sarah Kosinski, the Starbucks employee's roommate and friend, is the founder of the organization, a group that Allison Cope has volunteered with for years. In an emotional Facebook post, Kosinski once again stated that Allison would never "just disappear," nor would she "leave the dogs."
"I know her better than the back of my hand. I know she would not leave the dogs... My gut knows this."So far, Allison Cope's family has not responded to media requests for comment regarding her mysterious disappearance. The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department is asking anyone with information about the Starbucks employees whereabouts to call (919) 840-7510.
[Featured Image by Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Police Department/FBI]