Local News

Cumberland Community Searches for Missing Businessman

Posted May 10, 2007 1:14 p.m. EDT
Updated May 10, 2007 6:32 p.m. EDT

— An entire community is searching for a missing pawn shop owner and father in Cumberland County who's been missing since Sunday.

Family and friends have posted fliers across the community of Eastover for Jeffrey Scott Higgins, 43, who owns Cross Creek Pawn and Jewelry.

His wife, Jennifer Higgins, said he was going to a nearby gas station Sunday afternoon but that he never returned home. Authorities said he never made it there.

Jennifer Higgins also said she fears for her husband's safety because he suffers from depression, has had suicidal thoughts and went missing for about eight hours three weeks ago before calling her from a motel room, in tears.

Higgins is known to have carried a weapon and that the gun from his pawn shop is missing, his wife said.

"I just want you all to find him," she said. "Me and my tow kids, we need him."

Authorities say they have no evidence that foul play is involved in Higgins' disappearance but that they have not ruled it out.

Cumberland County sheriff's deputies have used a helicopter to search the area for his pickup truck and have alerted the national media about the case, including the television show "America's Most Wanted."

Higgins is 6 feet tall, weighs 165 pounds, has brown hair, hazel eyes and was last seen wearing cargo navy-blue shorts, a gray Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt, a UNC cap, Oakley sunglasses and brown rainbow flip flops.

He was driving a 2006 white Toyota Tundra with a North Carolina Tar Heels sticker on the back window and North Carolina license plate number VWJ-6395.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at 910-323-1500.

"We're hoping he can be one of those that be saved," said Cumberland County sheriff spokeswoman Debbie Tanna. "It's our hope that the quicker we find him, the better the chances are to find him alive."