As vanished RDU worker’s fate remains a mystery, sheriff says ‘We never give up’

Photo used with permission from Change of Heart Pit Bull Rescue

RALEIGH (WNCN) — For a fourth day Friday, family and friends searched for Allison Cope.

They searched the trails in Falls Lake and also handed out fliers. The 24 year old employee at a Starbucks at Raleigh-Durham International Airport went missing Monday afternoon in the middle of her shift.

RELATED: FBI, Raleigh PD assisting in search for RDU employee who never returned from break

Cope is now one of the more than 10,000 missing persons in North Carolina each year according to the N.C. Center for Missing Persons.

“We never give up on cases,” Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

Harrison’s office was asked to attend a Thursday briefing and two of its boats assisted in the search. Still Harrison said he hadn’t been briefed on the specifics of the case.


He provided insight into how law enforcement handles missing person’s cases.

“Any missing person’s case is important to us. It’s important to us because it’s our job. Two, it’s important to us, to that family that that person belongs to,” Harrison said.

The sheriff said their first step is to interview family and friends; and to follow up on any leads. If they’re not getting anywhere fast they’ll alert the media. Law enforcement both locally and nationally is also informed. The missing person’s name is entered into the National Crime Information Center.

“We probably average here in Clayton with a population of 20,000, 15 to 20 a year,” Det. Lt. Russell Flint of the Clayton Police Department said.

The Clayton police have not been involved in the search.

Flint said they don’t just conduct searches of areas.

As CBS North Carolina has reported, investigators used a helicopter and boat to search Falls Lake Thursday.

“We’ve got to have some information that would allow us to reach out or search a specific spot,” Flint said.

Both Harrison and Flint agreed that law enforcement can’t release all the information they have. They said they were confident those on the Cope case are doing everything they can to bring her home safely.

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