By Carolyn Berardino
It was still dark outside when Connie Locklear-Chavis stood in the driveway of her home in Hoke County, North Carolina with her 5-year-old daughter Brittany Locklear, on January 7, 1998, waiting for the school bus. Connie ran inside to quickly use the bathroom, and when she came back out, Brittany was nowhere in sight.
Connie raced to West Hoke Elementary and was told her daughter had never arrived. She called police, and it didn’t take long for them to learn that neighbors had witnessed Brittany being abducted from the end of her driveway.
According to The Fayetteville Observer, neighbors first told law enforcement that a white man in a brown pickup truck grabbed Brittany. However, police later said they were unsure of the color of the truck and what the man looked like.
The next day, members of a search party found Brittany’s body in a drainage ditch just three miles from her home. She had been raped and had drowned in the ditch.
WRAL News reported that investigators thought they had a break in the case in 2002 when a Fort Bragg firefighter was arrested for a bank robbery and photographs of Brittany were found in his locker. But his DNA was not a match to samples collected from Brittany’s body.
Connie Locklear-Chavis is still waiting for justice. If you have any information on this case, please contact the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at (800) 334-3000. There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.