RALEIGH -- Leah Roberts went missing in 2004. The NC State grad disappeared while on a cross country trip. Her case is the inspiration for the Cue Center's annual Road Tour. Now volunteers set out on a grueling journey bringing attention to other unsolved cases, including some from right here in North Carolina.
Roberts left Durham heading west in 2004 never to be heard from again. She took her photography equipment, guitar, and her journal. She headed to Mount Baker and Desolation Peak in Washington state.
"We decided we were going to go every place she stopped put up posters, bring a renewal to her case and let everyone know she was missing," said Monica Caison with the Cue Center.
Now that devotion shines light on other cases.
"Some of these cases have never gotten more than three inches in a column in a newspaper with no photo," said Caison. "Some have not had a story in seven, eight years. Maybe they've been missing 15 years."
The road tour kicks off later this week. There are three stops planned in North Carolina.
Debbie Key disappeared from a Carborro bar in 1997. Authorities believe Andrew Dalzell was the last person to see her. He was charged with second degree murder, but an Orange County judge threw out his confession. Without it, the state didn't have a case.
Donna Barnhill is one of the oldest unsolved cases in the state dating back to 1981. She was 13 at the time, and in another twist, in 1999 authorities discovered that one of Barnhill's sister's was murdered in 1966. No arrests and still no clues to Barnhill's whereabouts.
Jamie Fraley, 22, is missing from Gastonia. Making this even more of a mystery, the father of Fraley's fiance, Ricky Simonds, Sr. was found dead in the trunk of a car a couple of months after the disappearance. He lived next door to Fraley. Police considered him a person of interest in this case.
"We're gonna keep working there cases and I believe every case is solvable," said Caison. "You just have to spend time and continue to work on it."