One year later, search continues for Patterson

By: David Bradley - Staff writer

LUMBERTON —A year and two days after Abby Patterson went missing, her loved ones cling to hope she will return home safely.

On Sept. 5, 2017, the 20-year-old stepped alone into a brown Buick near her home on East Ninth Street in Lumberton and drove away. No one has learned what has happened to her since that day.

“I spoke to her that morning, and she said don’t worry, she’d be back in an hour,” said Samantha Lovette, Patterson’s mother. “An hour later I called and her phone went straight to voice mail. It had never done that before.”

Lumberton police say they continue to actively work the case. The FBI followed a tip to Alamac Road, and drained two ponds, but nothing was found. A $10,000 reward awaits anyone who can help solve the mystery.

A search through security camera footage in the area uncovered no clues.

Lovette tied a yellow ribbon around some of the missing posters placed in Lumberton after the disappearance.

“I want my sunshine back. My world is too dark without her. This has been devastating,” Lovette said. “We went from talking every day to not talking at all. I take it one day at a time.”

Patterson turned 21 years old on Feb. 15, during her disappearance. She is 5 feet 7 inches tall, has brown hair, and has a tattoo of a bird on her left shoulder and a birthmark on the back of her left thigh.

There have been some new leads, and police have been in constant contact with Lovette about new findings.

“Our family really appreciates the loving support and prayers from people in Robeson County,” Lovette said. “I’ve had support from law enforcement here and in other states, and the FBI.

“As a mom, I beg for help to find my little girl,” Lovette said. “Imagine your teen daughter walking away. Little did I know I wouldn’t see her again.”

The smallest clue could be of use, Lovette said, and implored anyone with information to reach out to police.

“There’s all kinds of ways to be anonymous,” Lovette said. “Any clue could be huge. Call Crimestoppers, go through Facebook. There are a lot of ways. I have no clue what happened to my baby. All I have is questions, and no answers. There are people out there that know.”

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Patterson is asked to call the FBI at 704-672-6100, or the Lumberton Police Department at 910-671-3845 and speak with Detective David Williford.


David Bradley

Staff writer

Reach David Bradley at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]

Reach David Bradley at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]