Abby Patterson, a 20-year-old woman from Jacksonville, Florida, was visiting her mother in the small city of Lumberton, North Carolina, on September 5 when she texted her mom that she had something to do and would be back in an hour, according to report in the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper. She then, witnesses said, was seen getting into a brown Buick automobile on East Ninth Street in the city of 21,000.
That was the last that anyone is known to have seen Patterson — with the possible exception of the other person in that car, who has been described only as “an acquaintance.”
And while the case of the young woman missing for more than a month would be troubling on its own, the Patterson case is made even more disturbing by one chilling fact. The location where Patterson was last seen is in the same neighborhood where not one, not two, but three women have already been found dead this year, according to a WNCN TV News report.
On April 18, two bodies were discovered in the same town, in the same area where Patterson was last seen — off of East Ninth Street. Those first two grim discoveries were the bodies of Christina Bennett, 32, and Rhonda Jones, 36. One of the women was found inside a house, while the other was disposed of in crude fashion, thrown in a garbage can, according to a CBS News report.
— infowe (@infowe) October 7, 2017
At the time, a friend of Jones, Megan Oxendine, spoke to the media about the shocking discovery of her friend’s body. But less than two months later, on June 3, Oxendine was also found dead, in a spot just 500 feet from where Jones’ body was discovered, according to a second WNCN report.
Police have not yet revealed how the first three women died — but say they are nearly certain that the deaths of the three women and the disappearance of Abby Patterson are not related. The three bodies were in advanced states of decomposition, making it nearly impossible to determine an exact cause of death for each.
“While there is always a possibility, we are 99 percent sure the case is not related to the females this spring and early summer,” Lumberton Police Captain Terry W. Parker of the Lumberton Police Department told WNCN on Friday.
In June, Clark had said that the police were “considering” the possibility that the three women’s deaths had some connection to one another, but police have not even determined whether the deaths of the three women were related, or if they were just a bizarre and tragic coincidence.
According to Parker, Patterson was visiting her mother after her recent discharge from a drug addiction rehabilitation center. Parker added that investigators have no reason to believe that Patterson is dead, “not even a rumor.”
The police captain also said that investigators continue to interview the man in the Buick whom police believe was an acquaintance of Patterson’s.
“We’re still talking to him,” Parker said. “We think it’s someone she knew, but we’re not sure.”
According to police, Abby Patterson stands five feet, seven inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes to match. Her skin is fair and she has a birthmark on the back of her left thigh, while her shoulder sports a tattoo of a bird.
Parker said his department’s near-certainty that Patterson’s disappearance is not related to the three earlier deaths of women in Lumberton comes from the fact that the first three women were “known to be on the street,” unlike Patterson. But Parker refused to elaborate on what he meant by “on the street.”
[Featured Image by Abby Patterson/Facebook]