Local News

Lee County Woman's Disappearance Still A Mystery

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — After four days of searching a rural Fayetteville road, authorities have called off their search there for a missing Lee County woman.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that searchers found no new clues in the investigation of the disappearance of 23-year-old Michelle Bullard, who Lee County authorities said was abducted from a mobile home in Broadway on Jan. 2.

The latest search in the three-week investigation began late last week on Bogie Island Road in the Cedar Creek area of Cumberland County after a man found a wallet that contained an ID belonging to Bullard. Since then, a search has turned up more items, including a ski mask, a purse, drugs and a sunken car.

But investigators said Tuesday that they do not believe any of the new items have anything to do with Bullard's disappearance. The vehicle was reported stolen in 1992 and is not believed to be a clue.

"Hopefully, she may be alive," said Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler. "We don't know, but certainly, we feel like we've done about what we can do in the area."

More than 40 investigators from five different agencies searched the area. The state Highway Patrol searched from the air; divers searched nearby irrigation ponds; and crews used dogs on land. But each method led to little new information, forcing investigators to regroup.

"We'll take (the items recovered) back to Lee County," said Lee County Chief Deputy Kevin Bryant. "We'll go piece by piece and see what the next step is we need to take in this investigation."

Authorities say that a masked man burst into a gathering of friends and demanded money from the people inside the home. The man then allegedly took Bullard and disappeared.

Bullard is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds, authorities said. She also has brown hair and brown eyes.

A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information leading to Bullard's recovery. Anyone with information that may help solve the case is urged to contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (919) 775-5531 or their local law enforcement agency.


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