• Jacksonville woman missing after visiting family in North Carolina

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    A Jacksonville woman has been missing for more than a month after she disappeared while visiting family in North Carolina, according to officials.

    Abby Patterson, 20 of Jacksonville, was last seen outside her family's Lumberton, North Carolina home on Sept. 5.

    Her mother Samantha Lovette told CBS North Carolina that she got a text from her daughter on that day saying she’d be gone about an hour.

    Her family hasn’t heard from Patterson since.

    Lovette said neighbors saw Patterson get into a brown Buick down the street from her home, which is in a neighborhood where three women were found dead earlier this year.

    Police describe the person in the car as an acquaintance.

    Earlier this year, Megan Oxendine, 28, Christina Bennett, 32, and Rhonda Jones, 36, were all found dead in the area near where Patterson went missing.

    Bennett’s and Jones’ bodies were found April 18.

    Oxendine was alive at the time and talked with CBS North Carolina in an interview about the death of her friend, Jones.

    Oxendine’s body was found June 3.

    Patterson's mother said she's not making a correlation between those cases and her daughter's.

    She said those women were found dead – and emphasizes her daughter is missing.

    Lumberton Police Capt. Terry Parker said investigators are 99 percent sure Patterson’s case is not related.

    When asked why, Parker told CBS North Carolina the other women were “known to be on the street” and that Patterson is not. Parker declined to elaborate on what “on the street” meant.

    In a statement, Patterson’s family said:

    "Abby is a light to everyone that knows her and without her we are lost. We pray that whoever might know something about her whereabouts will come forward, even if they choose to remain anonymous. She is not just a missing person - she is a missing daughter, a missing sister, a missing granddaughter, and a missing piece of so many people's heart."

    The FBI is assisting Lumberton Police with its investigation into the three deaths, but is not involved with Patterson’s case. 

    Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads them to Patterson.

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