Search for Soldier's Missing Fiancee Takes Bizarre Turns
The search began in Hoke County when a Fort Bragg soldier said his fiancee had been in a wreck. But now, authorities wonder if the woman was ever in the state, and all signs point to her hometown: Gresham, Ore.
Capt. John Kivett, with the Hoke County Sheriff's Office, thought he had a real emergency on his hands Tuesday: A 29-year-old woman, stunned from a car crash, wandering through the woods.
"She was crying. She was screaming at some points," Kivett said. "She told me she was cold. She wanted help."
Spec. Randall Dabbs, 29, believed his fiancee – a woman was identified as Jollyn Sue Silver – was driving an Enterprise rental car from her hometown of Gresham, Ore., to welcome him back from Iraq. When Silver called him in a panic, Dabbs went to the sheriff's department.
Fort Bragg, the state Highway Patrol and Raeford Aviation flew helicopters, while deputies from two counties and military police scoured the ground, searching for signs of Silver.
Authorities were in contact with Silver by cell phone during the search.
"We were asking her, 'Can you see a helicopter? Can you see an airplane? The plane you see, do you see people jumping out of it?'" Kivett said.
Silver told detectives she saw a sign for Silver City Street and the Raeford Inn, both in Hoke County. At one point, she even claimed to hear traffic.
Despite the massive search, Silver never surfaced. And investigators say signs have pointed them back to Gersham, Ore.
Twelve hours into the search, detectives discovered the cell phone Silver was using was hitting a tower in Oregon. The woman they had been talking to had never been in North Carolina.
Police in Oregon went to the address given for Jollyn Silver, but a different woman opened the door. She did not match a picture of Silver that Dabbs gave authorities.
Investigators found that Silver's e-mail address and home and cell phone numbers all led to the woman living at Silver's address.
That woman, whose name authorities have not released, was refusing to cooperate.
Authorities said the turn of events shocked Dabbs, who said he met Silver online through a friend. She visited him for a few hours in July when he was on leave, Dabbs told detectives.
"He acted like he was stunned," Kivett said. "He seemed like he knew he'd been taken for a ride. He was upset by that."
Detectives continue to work to determine if they have a missing persons case on their hands and how the second woman was involved.