CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A community is making another push to solve the mysterious disappearance of a nine-year-old girl in Shelby, 22 years ago today.
Monday marks 22 years since Asha Degree went missing in Shelby and in observance of the current circumstances of her unknown whereabouts, billboards have gone up in the area pleading for any new information, as well as a $45,000 reward that is being offered.
Asha was nine at the time she disappeared from her home in the middle of the night.
The FBI also released a podcast that focuses on the case.
According to the FBI, the father checked on her and her sister around 2:30 a.m. on February 14 in 2000. Around 6:30 a.m., Asha’s mother came into the room and she was not in the room. A call came into 911 from the family shortly thereafter reporting her missing.
As the day went on, the FBI says calls came in from ‘fairly credible witnesses’ saying they saw a young child walking along a highway around 4 a.m. One witness said they saw her enter a wooded area.
Officials say her bookbag was found about 16 months later in another county, about 20 miles away from where the highway is. There were items in her bookbag that did not belong to her, one detective said.
Anyone with information in the Cleveland County area specifically can call the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office at 704-484-4822 or the FBI at 704-672-6100.