Local News

Allison Cope safe in Virginia Beach hospital after disappearing from job at RDU

Posted July 2

— Allison Cope, the 24-year-old woman who was reported missing after leaving her supervisor job at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Monday, has been found alive in Virginia Beach, according to airport officials.

Officials announced that the woman was located by police in Virginia Beach late Saturday and taken to the Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital. No additional information was released about Cope's disappearance or condition.

Cope was reported missing at about 7 p.m. Monday after she clocked out for a break from her job at a Terminal 2 Starbucks. She took a scheduled break at 3 p.m. but did not return.

Cope was seen on video at a Shell gas station at 942 Durham Rd. at about 4:15 p.m. on Monday. Airport police have thoroughly reviewed the video and said there is no evidence that she is under any distress or that any crime was committed at the airport or anywhere else on the campus.

Family members said Cope's phone and bag were found at the airport, but her car keys and debit card were missing from her bag.

She was seen going down the escalator and leaving Terminal 2 with just keys in her hand, presumably to run to her car for a minute, according to friends.

A few of her friends spent time searching for Cope, but their searching turned up nothing. They also created fliers and posted them around the Triangle.

They say it is clear, even from the blurry surveillance images, that something isn't right.

"Her brows are down, sunken. She looks like she was crying," said Sarah Kosinski Cope. "It looks darker around her eyes also."

Fadel Alabdi, who works at the Shell station and put up a missing person flier on the door. He said, from the surveillance video, it did not appear Cope was in distress or distracted.

"She just walked into the bathroom for a couple of minutes, that's it, she walked back outside," he said. "She didn't purchase anything."

Friends say everything Cope has done has been out of character.

"It's not even like her to park on the other side of the pump, and that look on her face, it won't leave my mind," said Kosinski Cope.


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  • William Jones Jul 4, 8:02 p.m.
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    It may well be about HER, and it's not our place to determine whether or not it is. If she "just took off" it's up to the authorities to determine that and take appropriate action. You do understand she is hospitalized and I'm sure there is a reason for that. To assume that she was in control of her actions and to demand to know things that may be very private is the epitome of arrogance.

  • Laurie Cortright Jul 4, 7:42 p.m.
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    Here's the thing... it's not about HER. People who take off on their own like this are the reason that municipalities have laws requiring a 24-72 hour waiting period before declaring someone missing. Her family and friends wanted police on this immediately, as do most people with missing loved ones. People who take off on their own accord actually do harm to those who are missing against their will. Police have to treat each case the same way, and if they err on the side of letting it go for 72 hours in case someone is just having a bad day, then innocent people DIE.

  • TJ Wahoo Jul 3, 10:57 a.m.
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    So glad Allison is safe. Because unexplained disappearances do occur throughout this country, her friends and family are so right to raise the alarm and start a diligent search. One theory, if you have spent any appreciable time at an airport, would be Airport Derangement Syndrome. It happens most often with passengers, however, the literature supports the disorder in airport employees as well.

  • Brooke Ackert Jul 3, 8:33 a.m.
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    You need to check your facts. There is no mandatory 24 hr waiting period if there are suspicious circumstances. Regardless of her reasons, everyone around her had more than just cause to view her running to her car without her purse or cell phone in the middle of a shift and never coming back as suspicious. Therefore NO 24 hr waiting period to file missing person report.

  • William Jones Jul 3, 8:23 a.m.
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    Mr. Page, there are reporters hovering around the hospital like vultures now. She has chosen not to speak with them. There is a reason she is in a hospital and that reason may be very personal. I believe common decency and respect for her and her family should outweigh our "right" to know.

  • Rudy Bizzell Jul 3, 8:17 a.m.
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    The only thing that matters is she was found alive no matter what caused her to leave.

  • Ken Ackerman Jul 3, 8:06 a.m.
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    Just one problem, as this thread demonstrates we DO NOT live in a polite society.

  • Mariah Maloy Jul 3, 6:50 a.m.
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    I'm with you, Ma'am! Bright Blessings on them all!

  • Matt Page Jul 3, 6:39 a.m.
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    I swear WRAL is the worst they do absolutely no investigating of their own, just steal from other news sources.... did you happen to idk maybe talk to the girl in the hospital to ask her questions no of course you didn't that would be too much work

  • Brenda Love Jul 3, 3:37 a.m.
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    This is a great comment and good advice.