Family and Friends of Missing North Carolina Woman Demand Answers from Police | VIDEO

Fabiana Chaparro and Alta Spells, CNN
Missing Person notice - Depositphotos
Missing Person notice – Depositphotos

*(CNN) — Civil rights activists joined friends and family of missing North Carolina woman Allisha Dene Watts to demand answers from police about what they are doing to find the woman who was last seen July 16.

Watts, a 39-year-old Black woman, was reported missing from a home in Charlotte, according to a news release from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Her loved ones expressed frustration with the investigation during a news conference in front of the department on Wednesday, demanding a meeting with Police Chief Johnny Jennings.

“We need to see you today. We need to sit at the table. We need to know what’s going on,” said Dearest Price, the Charlotte regional director of the National Racial Justice Network.

The group and Watts’ loved ones said they wanted to make sure her case is in the public eye and noted she is one of many missing Black women in the US.

There are nearly 6,000 cases of missing Black people in the group’s database, many unsolved, according to the Black and Missing Foundation. And Black families say they often struggle to get the police to take their missing person cases seriously, while cases involving White women and children are treated with more urgency.

“This is a similar story with a unique person,” Price said of Watts.

A police incident report says Watts was visiting the Charlotte residence where she was last seen and lists her home address in Jackson Springs, which is in Moore County, North Carolina, about a two-hour drive from Charlotte.

Watts “was seen in her black 2023 Mercedes Benz GLC 300, possibly heading towards Moore County,” the news release said.

The vehicle was found two days later, parked at a DMV location in Anson County with an unresponsive man inside, a release from the Anson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Allisha Dean Watts (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)
Allisha Dean Watts (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department)

The man, identified as James Dunmore, was taken to a nearby hospital, the sheriff’s office said without providing further details on his condition.

Anson County is about 50 miles east of Charlotte and is located between the city and Moore County.

The missing person’s report was filed July 19, and when the Anson County Sheriff’s Office learned the next day that the vehicle was connected to Allisha Dene Watts, they conducted a search, the release said.

“Officers stood by while CMPD inventoried the vehicle and had it towed to CMPD headquarters for processing,” Anson County investigators said.

Police have not provided Watts’ family with any information on Dunmore’s condition, including his current location, Price said.

“We’re here for answers today because we want to know how we can help find our friend, our sister, our daughter,” said Watts’ friend Learen Blue. “We need them to come forth and tell us something so that we can help, because they’re being silent and not saying anything. It’s been too many days now for them not to give us information, or for them not to be actively doing something that we as her family and friends know that they’re doing.”

“Detectives are following all leads and using all available resources to locate Ms. Watts,” the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a tweet Wednesday. “Detectives have been in communication with immediate family members of Ms. Watts and their designee to provide updates and request relevant information.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact police or Charlotte Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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