Local News

Worries grow over missing Kinston mom

Posted July 21, 2011 4:10 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2011 6:36 p.m. EDT

— Worried family members of a missing 27-year-old Kinston mother said Thursday that they are growing more concerned after her car was found at a Raleigh apartment complex this week.

Laura Jean Ackerson was reported missing July 15 after she failed to pick up her two sons from their father in Raleigh following a business meeting she had in Wilson.

The co-owner of a marketing firm in Kinston, she was last seen in Raleigh on July 13, police said, and her white 2006 Ford Focus was found in the Camden Crest Apartments, near Glenwood Avenue and Lynn Road, early Wednesday morning.

Raleigh police investigators are examining it for clues but said that an initial search found no evidence of foul play.

A close relative, who didn't want to be identified, said Wednesday that she fears for Ackerson's safety and does not believe that Ackerson would ever leave her two children under any circumstances.

Ackerson lost contact with many of her family members and friends in recent years, the relative said, as a result of a "controlling and volatile relationship" with her children's father, Grant Hayes.

Hayes' mother, Patsy Hayes, said Wednesday that the two have been involved in a custody dispute for the past year.

Grant Hayes, she said, called Friday and seemed frustrated that Ackerson had not picked up the children. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Raleigh police are asking that anyone who might have seen Ackerson within the past week or knows where she might be to contact Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

Ackerson is white, stands about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs about 135 pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Meanwhile, family and friends have set up a Facebook group, requesting prayers, and members of Grace Fellowship Church in Kinston, where her family attends, are also organizing a daily prayer group.