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Search Intensifies For Missing Woman After Suspect's Arrest

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh police are conducting a three-county search for a missing Wendell woman after a man was charged in connection with her alleged kidnapping.

Police have confirmed that investigators have searched specific areas in Wake, Durham and Chatham counties for Cynthia Moreland, who was last seen Tuesday morning.

Authorities said more locations would be targeted in the near future, but they have not released details about the search locations or said if they have found any clues to her whereabouts.

Moreland was last seen Tuesday morning when she dropped her husband off at work. Her access card to a parking garage on Wilmington Street was used at 6:40 a.m. Tuesday, but she never reported to work at Progress Energy.

Her car was found abandoned Wednesday morning in southeast Raleigh.

Antonio Chance, 29, was identified as the man in a surveillance video police released late Wednesday. The video shows a man walking into a Dollar General store at 7955 Fayetteville Road shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday. Police said he tried to use Moreland's debit card.

Chance was arrested about two miles from where Moreland's car was recovered. He has been charged with kidnapping and obtaining property by false pretenses and is being held on $1 million bond at the Wake County Jail.

He has a criminal history and was convicted of a sexual offense in 1994 when he was 16. He has also been arrested twice in connection with failing to register as a sex offender.

Police would not say if they believe a single person kidnapped Moreland. Investigators also aren't commenting on where they believe she may be.

"While the department will refrain from identifying specific locations, it is correct to say that the we have looked at -- not thoroughly searched, but physically looked at -- potential search sites in Wake, Durham and Chatham counties," Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department, said in an e-mail Friday night.

"Potential sites are being selectively identified based upon detectives' knowledge of the case and information learned about the suspect," he said in the message. "Of course, some of the potential sites have now been thoroughly searched. Work is continuing."

After Chance's first court appearance Friday afternoon, a close relative of the suspect told WRAL that she feels for Moreland's family. She also called on Chance to tell investigators what he knows.

"I just wanted (Chance) to know that we love him as his family, but he needs to tell the police where she's at, if he knows," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Anyone with information about Moreland's whereabouts or who saw her 1998 gray Toyota Camry Tuesday morning is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-890-3555.