FAIRMONT, N.C. (WNCN) — The Charlotte Division of the FBI is now offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the location of a 19-year-old woman who vanished a year ago in Robeson County.
Sara Nicole Graham, the daughter of a Robeson County deputy, disappeared the morning of Feb. 4, 2015, after she left her family’s Fairmont home to drive to her Wal-Mart job in Pembroke, officials say. She was 18 at the time of her disappearance.
The FBI and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office announced the new reward Thursday morning at the Robeson County Emergency Operations Center. Deputies distributed flyers along McDonald Road Thursday morning.
Graham left her home in the 4000 block of Centerville Church Road around 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 4, 2015 and did not show up for work by 7 a.m., which is when she was expected at work, Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said.
“We have witness accounts that around that time period 6:30, folks that typically drive that route did not see the van there, it apparently was visible from going by the road there and did not see it and folks who passed just 15 minutes later did see it so we know there’s kinda that time period where it wasn’t there then it was,” said Shelley Lynch, Charlotte Division of the FBI.
Around 12:15 p.m. that day, a caller reported a suspicious vehicle in a field with its doors locked.
A license check showed the van was registered to Graham’s father, Hubert Graham. Detectives then learned that Sara Graham never showed up for work.
The van was found empty, parked in a wheat field on the edge of a forest along East McDonald Road between Chicken Road and Centerville Church Road, Sealey said.
A large search was conducted that afternoon with dozens of Robeson County deputies, a NC Highway Patrol helicopter and Bladen County Deputies, according to Sealey.
However, there was no sign of Graham and her family has still not had contact with her. Sara’s father Hubert at the time was 16 year veteran of the sheriff’s department.
Meanwhile, in March, Sealey fired Connie Graham, Sara Graham’s step-mother, from her job as a juvenile division detective after 23 years with the agency.
Hubert Graham’s employment status with the department was unchanged at that time.
Anyone with information that could help locate Sara should call FBI Charlotte at 704-672-6100 or the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3100.
— WBTW-TV contributed to this report