Search continues for Jalesa Reynolds 1 year later

Chief Joe Williams and the family of Jalesa Reynolds at news conference, Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 21, 2011 9:00:00 PM PST
Halifax County authorities are still searching for an 18-year-old woman who was last seen on February 22, 2010. It's been exactly one year since anyone has seen Jalesa Reynolds.

On Tuesday at the Pilgrim Way of the Cross Church in Scotland Neck, Reynolds' family, friends and the police chief remembered her.

They said by marking the anniversary of her disappearance they are hoping that the attention to the case will hopefully bring them some closure.

"I've just been praying to God for the best," Reynolds' mother Bernice Reynolds said. "She was a great person. She didn't bother nobody."

Scotland Neck Police say someone last saw Reynolds using a public computer at the Scotland Neck Memorial Library.

Records indicate she logged onto a social networking website around 11 a.m., and almost three hours later, she logged onto a computer at a residence on Cemetary Road, which is about 1.5 miles northwest of town. Police believe she left the home between 2 and 3 p.m.

ABC11 later learned the house where police believe Reynolds last logged onto a computer is also the home of a registered sex offender. Family members say she may have met the person through the social networking site.

Police haven't said what role - if any - it may have played in Reynolds's disappearance.

The house and the area along Cemetery Road have been the focus of several searches over the last year, but nothing's turned up.

"We're interviewing witnesses and people who have information that pertains to this case," Scotland Neck Police Chief Joe Williams said.

Without a body and without evidence, the investigation is moving slowly, though the chief says he believes an arrest will come soon.

"Not a day goes by that you don't think of your loved one," Reynolds' cousin Frederick Lassiter said. "Where she's at, what condition she's in. Through God we're going to hold on and just keep praying."

Reynolds is described as an African-American, 5'2" tall, 220 pounds with a medium complexion and short, black hair. She was last seen wearing tan pants, a pink shirt and a denim coat with a flower design on back.

There is a $5,000 reward being offered in the case.

A vigil for Reynolds was held at the Pilgrim Way of the Cross Church in Scotland Neck Tuesday night.

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