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Fraley's family tries to hold onto hope

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GASTONIA -- Last month, Jaime Fraley's family sat in their Bessemer City home holding onto her pictures and holding onto hope that the missing 22-year-old would be found. Now, that hope might be fading.

"I'm heartbroken and I'm hurt,” her fiancé, Ricky Simonds Jr., said. “I'm just, I'm lost."

Simonds says he believed his father, who lived next door to Fraley at the Copperfield apartments in Gastonia and was one of the last people to see her before she went missing in April, knew something about her disappearance. But on Sunday, Ricky Simonds Sr. was found dead in the trunk of his ex-girlfriend’s car.

"The first thing that popped in my mind was, ‘will I never find Jaime?" said Simonds Jr. "In my heart, I thought I might have had a link to find Jaime through Rick.”

Jaime’s mother, Kim Fraley, also believes Simonds knew more about the disappearance than he let on.

"In my mind, he knew something that he wasn’t telling us and now that something is gone to the grave with him and we may never find out,” she said.

Gaston County police say Simonds Sr. was a person of interest in the Fraley case. His son says the 49-year-old refused to take a lie detector test.

“[He] didn’t want to cooperate, I’m going to just say that,” he said.

As Fraley’s family waits for any news, they say they're still holding onto to the hope they have left.

"I believe my daughter's out there until somebody shows me different," Kim said.

Simonds Jr. says he believes someone else knows what happened to his fiancée and hopes if they were afraid to come forward before, they might now after the death of his father. Anyone with information is urged call Gaston County police.

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