The reward for missing woman Abby Patterson,20, who disappeared nearly two months ago after leaving her family’s North Carolina home, has been increased.
Patterson’s family previously offered $5,000 for the reward, but now a local chicken-processing facility is adding $5,000 more to that. A total of $10,000 is being offered for any tips leading to Patterson’s location, The Robesonian newspaper reported.
Patterson had just been released from a drug rehabilitation center at the time of her disappearance, the paper reported.
Patterson’s sister, Sandy Bryan, told The Robesonian that Mountaire Farms donated the additional money.
“This has gotten national attention, and there’s a lot of bad information out there,” Bryan told the newspaper. “The ($5,000 originally released) is not being offered by law enforcement, but by family and friends. We want to be very clear on that.”
Patterson told her mother that she would return in an hour when she left her home on Sept. 5, and she stepped into a brown Buick driven by a male acquaintance.
She has not been seen or heard from since, although her family says there have been plenty of false leads.
Patterson disappeared in the same area where three other women were found dead in the last six months, but authorities do not believe that Patterson’s disappearance is related to those victims.
“Anything is possible but we do not think they’re related,” Lumberton Police Capt. Terry Parker told Fox News on Wednesday.
Bryan told The Robesonian the lack of communication is out of character for her sister.
“We know she’s not out there by choice,” Bryan told the Robesonian. “She talks to my mom every day, and we haven’t heard from her since [she was seen getting into the Buick].”
The FBI is assisting local police in the investigation.
Patterson was living in Florida and just visiting her mother in Lumberton for two days when she disappeared. Police said that they have identified the man last seen with Patterson.
“We think it’s someone she knew, but we’re not sure,” said Capt. Parker, who did not name the man or say whether he’s considered a person of interest in the case, Fox News reported.
Patterson is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Her skin is light colored and there is a birthmark on the back of her left thigh and a bird tattoo on her shoulder.
Anyone with information on Patterson’s whereabouts can call the Lumberton Police Department at (910) 671-3845.