RAEFORD, N.C. — Two years ago, 5-year-old Brittany Locklear was
kidnapped from her bus stop
and found murdered just a short distance from her Hoke County home. Her killer is still on the loose.
State Bureau of Investigation
is no longer working the case from a special office in Raeford, but federal, state and county investigators continue to follow leads on a regular basis.
Brittany's mother continues to hold out hope that her daughter's killer will be found. Connie Chavis calls state investigators weekly.
"My hopes have been up so much that they'd figure out who killed Brittany. I'm just waiting," says Chavis.
Two years after her murder, the memorial at Brittany's bus stop is barely visible. But around town, her picture appears in the front windows of local businesses.
Investigators believe the help they need to solve her murder is still out there.
Hoke County Sheriff Jim Davis says the case is very much open.
"We feel someone out there knows something," he says.
Two months ago, a team from the
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
came to town to offer a fresh look at the evidence.
"We don't have enough to have a suspect, but we continue to work on the case," says Davis.
Former Sheriff Wayne Byrd now works for a communications company, but says he still thinks about the case every day.
Criticized for the way he handled the case, Byrd says his only hopes now are that Brittany's killer will one day be caught.
"It would be easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and say we should have done this, or we should have done that, but given what we had to work with, given equipment and manpower, I think we did as good as anyone could have," says Byrd.
Friday, the SBI and Hoke County Sheriff's Office set up a roadblock in the area where Locklear disappeared. Detectives hope the two-year anniversary will get people talking.
Investigators are looking for any new information. A $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest still stands.