Local News

Police search lake for missing Roanoke Rapids woman

Posted January 6, 2011 3:02 p.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2011 7:14 p.m. EST

— Dive teams and crews searched part of Roanoke Rapids Lake for six hours Wednesday after receiving a credible tip about the disappearance of a Roanoke Rapids woman more than four years ago.

Roanoke Rapids Police Capt. Andy Jackson said the search for Shonda Stansbury turned up empty but that it did lead investigators to identify persons of interest in the case.

Stansbury was 24 when her family reported her missing on Dec. 9, 2006.

Initially, investigators thought she might have left on her own, but several witnesses reported seeing her beaten and bruised at a local Waffle House the same day.

Five days later, another witness reported seeing two men chasing her from some woods near the Information Grocery store off U.S. Highway 158.

There were no witnesses to corroborate the story, but the sighting led to a massive search of the area, which turned up nothing.

Stansbury’s family said that she and her four children had been living with her boyfriend in Virginia but that the relationship had ended and she had returned home to Roanoke Rapids.

“She was heartbroken and got up with the wrong crowd, started drinking and doing drugs and stuff and just lost it,” her sister, Jackie Stansbury, said in a Nov. 19, 2010, interview with NC Wanted.

Family members say they fear the worst but hope she might one day return home.

“I have to live every day and face her kids, and they want to know, ‘How can you lose my mom?’” Jackie Stansbury said.

Shonda Stansbury was last seen wearing blue jeans, a gray blouse and white tennis shoes. She had a heart tattoo on the left side of her chest, a ribbon tattoo on her right calf and her four front teeth were missing.

Anyone with information about the case can contact the Roanoke Rapids Police Department at 252-537-0158.