Local News

Investigators, Family Continue Search for Missing Sanford Woman

Posted December 19, 2006 5:51 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2006 5:59 p.m. EST

— With every passing hour, authorities say they are growing more concerned about the safety of a missing Lee County woman whose car was found abandoned in a ditch Monday morning.

Sherry Massa, 38, was on her way to work at Static Control Components when, investigators believe, someone ran her off the road and abducted her while her car's engine was still running.

"Everybody talks about the first 48 hours. You definitely want to get what information you can up front and quick for the safety of the victim and for anybody else who may be involved," said Deputy Chief Randall Butler of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators are also looking for the woman's estranged husband, Raymond "Scott" Massa, 38. They are not calling him a suspect, but say he is a person of interest in the case.

As authorities search, family members are doing what they can to ensure Sherry Massa's safe return. Her daughters spent Tuesday printing fliers of their missing mother and their father.

"I'm hoping that this will get out there, and everybody will see it -- the word will get around, the picture will get around and that we'll get some tips in," Ashley Massa, 19, said.

She and her younger sister, Lauren Massa, 15, were on their way to school when they discovered their mother's 1991 Infiniti on the side of Fire Tower Road at the intersection of N.C. Highway 78.

They said Monday they believe Sherry Massa is with their father and publicly asked him to bring her back home.

According to court records, Raymond Scott Massa has been charged twice with assaulting his wife. The first charge, filed March 31,2002, was dismissed. The most recent charged stemmed from a Dec. 4 incident. Raymond Massa is scheduled to be in court on Jan. 17 to face that charge.

Sherry Massa has also taken out two domestic violence protection orders against her estranged husband. One was issued Aug. 4, 2001, and the other on Dec. 4. It was in place when she disappeared Monday.

Family members say that if Sherry Massa is with her husband, they are concerned that the situation could turn violent if the pair is not found soon.

"Please come home, Scotty, please," said Raymond Scott Massa's aunt, Beverly Stone. "Just let her go, and forget it. Start over."

Although the couple had been separated for two years, family and friends say Raymond Scott Massa had been living at the Sanford Motel and was distraught over the breakup of his marriage of more than 20 years. They say he desperately wanted his wife back.

They also say he was battling a drug addiction but somehow managed to go to work every day at South Forty Sprinkler Fabrication.

Investigators say Raymond Scott Massa may be driving his cousin's black Dodge Dakota pick-up with North Carolina license plate number VTC-9178. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at 919-718-4560.

"I'm not going to lose hope," Ashley Massa said. "We're going to get her back home. I'm not going to stop until I get her. Whatever I got to do to get my mom back is what I'm going do."