KINSTON, N.C. — Kinston police are searching for a mother and granddaughter from Lenoir County who apparently disappeared early Tuesday morning.
Police say 58-year-old Gail Haddock-Dail and her 15-year-old granddaughter, Heather Lynn Roberts, were traveling to Salem, Va., when Haddock-Dail called her husband, Glenn, before midnight Tuesday, saying she needed help.
"She hollered my name and said she was in the water and that they were drowning. You could hear Heather -- the 15-year-old -- screaming in the background. It sounded like they were beating on the windows of the car," he said.
Dail said the call ended abruptly, so he called authorities in Kinston and Virginia. Haddock-Dail's family confirms she was supposed to visit, but they never showed.
The call was traced to cell phone towers in Kinston. Investigators searched rivers and ponds near roadways in a 20-mile radius of two cell towers. So far, they have not found anything.
Police have not ruled anything out, including foul play. They are especially concerned because Heather Roberts has many health problems and often needs an oxygen mask.
Police say Haddock-Dail and Roberts were last seen leaving a Kinston hotel where they had been staying. A fire gutted their home nearly two weeks ago. The cause is still under investigation.
State Bureau of Investigation agents and fire investigators searched the home again Wednesday. Investigators also plan to talk to Dail on Thursday.
Dail said for now all he can do is hang on to hope.
"As time passes, that hope dies," he said.
Authorities believe the route of travel includes U.S. 264 West from Greenville to U.S. 64 West to Raleigh, Interstate 40 West to U.S. 220 in Greensboro and U.S. 220 North to Virginia. The North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter helped search Kinston and surrounding areas Tuesday.
Haddock-Dail is described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall and about 160 pounds. She has brown hair and green eyes. Roberts is described as being 5 feet 4 inches tall and about 130 pounds. She has multiple burn scars on her face and body.
Haddock-Dail and Roberts were traveling in a 1998 blue Dodge Caravan with license plate