CHARLOTTE – Asha Degree was nine years old when she walked out of her home near Shelby in the early morning hours of Valentine's Day, 2000. Motorists saw the young girl walking highway 18 at 4 a.m., but she was never to be seen again.
“It appears if she fell and got hurt or got lost somebody would've found her within the first few days of her disappearance,” said Monica Caison, of the Cue Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington.
Family, friends and investigators spent days, weeks and months searching for her, eventually finding some candy wrappers and a hair clip in a barn. Her backpack was found a year and a half later, many miles down the road, but they led investigators nowhere.
The Cue Center is hoping additional attention will help crack this decade-old cold case. The story was recently featured on “Good Morning America.”
“The awareness campaign is important just in the chance that she is out there being held captive in some sort," Caison said.
The Degrees did an interview with the show and said they had some people call in. That was about three months ago and they haven't heard anything since. The girl's parents say they'll never give up hope of one day finding their daughter.
“We still miss her and still looking forward to seeing her one day,” her mother, Iquilla Degree, said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Cue Center for Missing Persons.