Authorities search for missing Johnston woman

July 18, 2008 2:43:20 PM PDT
Johnston County Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in the seach for a missing woman.

Thursday afternoon Cathy Whealton sat on a couch in a Johnston County home and flipped through photos of her only daughter, Kelli Woolard.

"She's an outgoing, energetic, fun-loving people person, that's why she's a nurse," Whealton said through tears.

Woolard is a nurse at Duke Health Raleigh, a wife to her husband Clint and stepmother to his son Taylor, her mother says.

Woolard, 31, was last seen over the weekend, driving her 2007 silver Jeep Liberty. It has the vanity plate HAPPIRN -- which reads "happy RN".

Her mom says Woolard called one of her friends the evening she was last seen and said the following: "She said, 'Chrissy, I need for you to call Clint. I've relapsed. I love Clint and Taylor, and I'm not coming home," Whealton said.

According to her mom, Woolard had struggled years ago with an addiction to prescription medication and had at one point quit her job while going through a rehab program.

Cathy Whealton thought her daughter was doing well, but now, there are fears, triggered by that phone call, that Kelli may have been having problems again.

"My heart's breaking because she's never not come to me," Whealton said. "Never."

Woolard's cell phone has been off since Saturday and she hasn't used her debit card since then either, her family says.

Her husband, Clint, is extremely distraught, Whealton says. "She adores her husband. He is a good, good man."

Investigators aren't saying much -- they are dealing with this as a missing person case.

Whealton hopes Woolard is seeking help. "I'm hoping that she's checked into a treatment center, and they just won't give out information," she says.

But nearly a week after anyone last saw her daughter -- there are fears that something terrible has happened to Kelli Woolard.

Woolard is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs approximately 220 pounds.

She has brown hair and green eyes and a scar on the left side of her face. Kelli Woolard also has two tattoos -- a 3-leaf clover on her lower back and a frog on her left shoulder.

Anyone with any information should call the Johnston County Sheriff's Office at 919.989.5000.


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