Bladen County family still awaiting news on missing woman

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

TAR HEEL — A Bladen County family is still waiting to hear from their daughter.

On Sept. 5, after being discharged from a drug rehabilitation center, Abby Lynn Patterson, 20, came to the area to visit her mother, Lumberton resident Samantha Lovette. According to Lumberton Police Capt. Terry Parker, Patterson called an acquaintance to pick her up from the treatment center and has not been heard from since she was seen getting into a brown Buick in the area of East Ninth Street in Lumberton.

According to Lovette, Abby told her mother she would be home within an hour. After the hour passed, Lovette tried to call her cell phone, but only got voicemail.

“It’s been going straight to voicemail ever since,” Lovette said.

Patterson is also the daughter of Tar Heel resident Rusty Patterson, who could not be reached for comment.

Abby Patterson is described as a light-skinned Caucasian standing 5 feet, 7 inches and weighing approximately 140 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes, a birthmark on the back of her left thigh, and a bird tattoo on her shoulder, according to police. She was last seen wearing brown shorts and a white shirt.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lumberton Police Department at 910-671-3845 and ask for Detectives Williford or Evans.

The story received national attention this month, possibly because Patterson is the fourth woman to go missing from Lumberton this year. CBS aired the story earlier this month with the caption “Serial killer on the loose?”

Parker told CBS news he did not think Patterson’s disappearance is related to the deaths of three other women who have gone missing this year. On April 18, the body of 32-year-old Christina Bennett was found in a house, and, on the same day, the remains of 36-year-old Rhonda Jones were found in a trash can. On June 3, the body of 28-year-old Megan Ann Oxendine was found in Lumberton behind a house.

Although autopsies have been completed, causes of death have not yet been determined because of the badly decomposed states of the bodies. Police have not yet said if the three deaths are related, but have said Patterson’s disappearance does not seem to be related.

CBS also said authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads them to Patterson.

“We love her and need her back home,” Lovette said.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing


Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal