Local News

Vehicle Among Latest Items Recovered In Search For Missing Woman

Posted January 23, 2006 4:55 a.m. EST
Updated December 31, 2006 11:23 a.m. EST

— A third day of searching along a rural Fayetteville road has yielded more items that authorities will check for ties to the disappearance of a 23-year-old Lee County woman.

Investigators say Michelle Bullard was last seen Jan. 2 at a Broadway home with friends when a masked gunman entered the home, took some money and grabbed her.

Monday's search along Bogie Island Road resulted in divers finding a vehicle submerged in 10 feet of murky water, as well as a purse and some clothing items along the roadway.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said, however, that crews would not be able to raise the vehicle from the water for several days because of muddy conditions and that the recent wet weather has made it impossible for vehicles to drive into the area.

Authorities say that some of the items found on Sunday and Monday may or may not be related to the case because hunters often use the area and are having to sort through debris.

On Friday, a man told authorities that he found Bullard's wallet and ID on the same stretch of road and on Sunday, investigators found two more clues -- two paycheck stubs belonging to Bullard and a purse belonging to one of the women in the home where Bullard was kidnapped.

The search for Bullard, which investigators plan to resume in the Bogie Island Road area on Tuesday, has span across three counties -- Lee, Cumberland and Harnett -- and has consisted of volunteers and officials from at least seven different law enforcement agencies, including the State Bureau of Investigation, state Highway Patrol and Fayetteville Police Department.

Friends, as well as Bullard's family, have also been assisting in the search since Bullard was reported missing.

Julian Bullard, Michelle Bullard's father, told WRAL that the latest clues in the case provides hope for him and his family.

"Well, it's news," Julian Bullard said. "To me, it's hope because it's something that gives us direction. It gives us hope that we can find her soon."

A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information leading to an arrest or Bullard's recovery. Anyone with information that may help solve the case is urged to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at (910) 323-1500.