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Three Years Later, Search for Hoke County Girl's Murderer Continues

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RAEFORD — In January 1998, a 5-year-old Hoke County girl was taken from her bus stop, raped and killed. Three years after the death of Brittany Locklear,the search for her killercontinues.

"I think about her all the time, every day," says Connie Chavis, Brittany's mother. Chavis says she finds comfort from people who care.

It has been three years since her daughter was kidnapped and killed. Brittany's favorite dress and stuffed animals remain as they were in her bedroom.

"There will only be closure when they found out who did it and see that he's put to justice," says Chavis.

An angel and a cross still sit on the road where Brittany was found. Chavis, who has never been to the site, says even after three years, it is still too hard.

Investigators say it is also a hard case to solve.

"We are still certain whoever came through knew the area," says SBI criminal specialist Jay Tilley.

Every week, theState Bureau of Investigationcontinues to get solid leads. All leads are investigated and entered into anFBIfile. Agents have also talked with sexual offenders in a five-county area.

Investigators say their best hope will come from DNA evidence found at the crime scene. It has been put into an SBI databank, waiting on a match.

"We want the offender who did this to know we have the capabilities of identifying them, all we need is a break," says Tilley.

A break is what Connie Chavis wishes for every day so she and her other daughter, who is approaching Brittany's age, can find peace.

A $20,000 reward still stands for information leading to the arrest of Brittany's killer.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Hoke County Sheriff's Office or the SBI at910-486-1262.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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