After woman’s ‘suspicious disappearance,’ body found near search area, NC cops say

·2 min read

Crews searching for a missing person found an unidentified body — and want the dental records of a woman who vanished from her North Carolina home weeks ago, officials said.

Investigators had been looking for clues in the “suspicious disappearance” of Jessica Lawrence, who they say was last seen on Sept. 26. A family member reported her missing about two weeks later on Oct. 12.

“We have reason to believe foul play is involved,” Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said Oct. 15 in a news release. “Obviously, we can’t discuss details of where the investigation is at this point.”

After Lawrence was reported missing, deputies said a Rowland resident was stopped in her Jeep Grand Cherokee. Last week, officials investigating the case were searching near Rowland, roughly 50 miles southwest of Fayetteville, McClatchy News reported.

A team was again in the Rowland area on Monday when a person was found dead off Tom M. Road. But officials in a news release didn’t say whether the search efforts had been related to Lawrence.

Deputies said they have spoken to the missing woman’s family about getting dental records and have her DNA for comparison.

“The body will be sent to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh, NC for identification and cause of death purposes,” the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said. “At this time, the race nor gender of the body has not been determined.”

Meanwhile, Lawrence’s disappearance was still under investigation as of Monday evening. She was last seen at her home in St. Pauls, about 20 miles south of Fayetteville.

Jessica Lawrence
Jessica Lawrence

“Lawrence is described as a white female who is 5’5” in height and weighs about 150 pounds,” the sheriff’s office said. “Lawrence has brown hair and blue eyes.”

Anyone with information about her disappearance is urged to call deputies at 910-671-3170.

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