Local News

Smithfield Woman's Disappearance Mystery To Family, Investigators

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SMITHFIELD, N.C. — Smithfield police are asking for the public's help in locating a woman who has been missing for more than a month.

Frances Tamette Blanke, 33, was last seen during the early-morning hours of March 23, and her vehicle and personal belongings were found abandoned outside a Smithfield Wal-Mart on March 24.

Police are currently exploring all possibilities in regard to Blanke's disappearance, but for investigators, the case grows colder every day.

For Blanke's father, Fred Hamilton, it gets harder to keep up hope that his daughter is safe. Since her disappearance, family members have searched and handed out more than one 1,000 fliers, but they still have no information about her.

"I get more anxious and more concerned every day, now," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said his daughter's husband was the last person who reported seeing Blanke, when he left home for work on March 23.

She never showed up to her job.

Family members found her car abandoned; Blanke's cell phone, purse and identification were all left inside.

"It is unusual, certainly not typical, when you're investigating something of this nature," said Smithfield police Det. Lawrence Capps.

He said that there are currently no strong leads pointing them in any direction other than to treat Blanke's disappearance as a missing persons case.

"At this point in time, we don't have any evidence to suggest foul play," Capps said. "We certainly haven't ruled anything out. We're exploring all possibilities."

Hamilton said he thought, from the beginning, that Blanke might have left on her own. About eight years ago, he said she left for two weeks before returning home.

"I know she was going through some emotional stuff and some financial burdens," Hamilton said.

But since no one has heard from her in more than a month and because she left everything behind, her family is worried about Blanke's safety.

"In my heart, I feel like she would have been found by this point or she would have called," Hamilton said.

Anyone with information concerning Blanke's whereabouts is urged to contact Smithfield police at

(919) 934-2121