Vanished RDU worker didn’t seem to be in distress, says gas station attendant who spotted her

Photo used with permission from Change of Heart Pit Bull Rescue


WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – Missing Raleigh-Durham International Airport employee Allison Cope didn’t seem to be in distress when she was seen pumping gas more than an hour after leaving her job on a break she never returned from.

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That’s according to the gas station attendant who saw her there.

Cope took her break from a Starbucks at RDU about 3 p.m. Monday, but never returned. RDU officials said Cope was last seen at the Shell gas station at 942 Durham Road in Wake Forest at 4:15 p.m.

Surveillance cameras captured her pumping gas and going into the market.

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“You couldn’t really see that she was stressed or anything or rushing. She was like normal person, walking in and walking out,” Fadel Alabdi, a gas station attendant said.

Alabdi said he was working on Monday afternoon around 4:15 when Cope came in.

RELATED: Missing RDU employee seen at gas station after not returning to work, police say

CBS North Carolina asked him if she appeared to be in any kind of distress. Alabdi responded, “No, I didn’t see that on her.”

Cope, a manager at the Starbucks in Terminal 2 at RDU, went on break Monday afternoon and never returned.

Her family and roommates have been searching for her.

“We love her. We miss her, and we want her safe return,” Tina Cole, Cope’s aunt said.

Most of Cope’s family lives in California. Her aunt said they’ve been in constant contact with police and are desperate for answers.

“We have seen the pictures on the Internet. We can’t comment because we have no additional details or information,” Cole said.

A statement from the Cope family was released Friday morning and stated that the family is “praying for Allison’s safe return and are working with all the law enforcement agencies involved” and they’d “like to thank the law enforcement agencies for all their hard work and also to everyone who has kept the story of Allison on social media.”

The SBI used its helicopter to search for Cope’s car around Falls Lake. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office donated a boat for the effort.

Cope’s roommates rented a helicopter. They said they searched around Falls Lake and also nearby parking lots.

The FBI and Raleigh Police Department are assisting RDU Police in the investigation. The Wake County District Attorney’s office said they were being updated on the case.

Cope is in her mid-20s and stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds.

She was last seen wearing a black HMS Host-branded Starbucks polo shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers, police said.

She has a 2014 silver Ford Fusion and the car has a sticker from a pit bull rescue organization across the back.

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