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Family remembers Smithfield woman identified 20 years after death

Posted August 12, 2012
Updated August 13, 2012

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— Dozens of family members and friends gathered in Goldsboro on Sunday to remember the life of a Smithfield woman who was identified two weeks ago nearly 20 years after her body was found near railroad tracks in Virginia.

Despite not being able to bury the body of her daughter Angie Faye Toler, Delois Sherrod said Sunday's service did provide a bit of closure after 20 years of questions and suffering. 

"For 20 years I prayed and hoped that one of these days the lord would bring her back to me, and he did," Sherrod said. 

Two weeks ago, the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons told Sherrod and her family that DNA tests had confirmed that the remains of a Jane Doe, found in December of 1992, were Toler, who was last seen alive by her family before she moved to Richmond with her boyfriend.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond said Toler, 23, died of hypothermia and that her death was ruled accidental.

The discovery was made after Nona Best, a supervisor at the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons, recognized Toler in a photo being used in a presentation at a National Missing and Unidentified Persons System training academy in November.

NAMUS is a free, public, nationwide repository of information about missing persons and unidentified decedent records.

Best, who knows the family personally, contacted Toler's sister and mother, and they submitted DNA samples that were a positive match.

"The years passed, and the years passed," Sherrod said. "I said, 'I know she's somewhere.'" Smithfield Family, friends gather to remember Smithfield woman

Sherrod said she believes her daughter wanted to move home after things didn't work out with her boyfriend in Richmond. On the night she disappeared, Sherrod said Toler called three times while she was working. When the family didn't hear back, Sherrod said she knew something was wrong. 

She went to Virginia police, but she said they were not helpful.

"I refuse to believe she just went there and laid down," Sherrod said Sunday. "I actually believe somebody put her there, I really do. I don't know what happened, but we are going to keep on until we find out, because someone knows what happened."

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  • tarheelj Aug 13, 2012

    To the family I am so sorry that you were allowed to see that comment from keyboard cat....I am so very happy for you though that you finally know where you beloved daughter is. I cannot imagine the agony in not knowing where she was all of these years. I hope you are able to finally rest peacefully in knowing that she is ok, in a better place and is safe now.

  • irishgirlsarepretty Aug 13, 2012

    What a beautiful girl. How sad :(

  • robbyh Aug 13, 2012

    So whatever happen to the boyfriend?

  • wildpig777 Aug 13, 2012

    so whats the deal here? h0w bout some coverage wral

  • jacamillo Aug 13, 2012

    Finally some sort of closure for this family. I hope police do some real police work & find out what happened to this young woman. Her family asked for help before with no results. Now, maybe they will get something. Prayers to the family.

  • sjb2k1 Aug 13, 2012

    at least now she is home, so sad.

  • beach2011 Aug 13, 2012

    Accident - ??? Sure!

  • wwrwheel Aug 13, 2012

    Was a pretty young lady. Reminds me of someone I could have met in college. Very sad.