FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team Joins Unsolved Missing Girl Investigation

The FBI Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) team is in Cleveland County to assist in the ongoing search for Asha Degree. On February 14, 2000, nine-year-old Asha left her home in Shelby in the middle of the night. Several drivers witnessed her walking south along North Carolina Highway 18 around 4:00 a.m. but did not alert police. Her parents reported her missing a few hours later when they woke up and found Asha’s bed empty. More than a year later, her book bag was discovered buried along the same highway where she was last seen walking. Based on our investigation, we have reason to believe that individuals in this community or the surrounding area have knowledge of or information pertaining to the disappearance of Asha.

The CARD team will be on the ground working alongside FBI Charlotte employees, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office investigators, and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agents. FBI CARD Team members are highly trained and experienced experts on missing children cases. CARD teams respond across the country and around the world when a child is missing. Recently, the FBI began to utilize the experience and talent of these teams to review unsolved cases. Over the coming days, the CARD team will provide on-the-ground investigative, technical, behavioral analysis, and analytical support to find out more about what happened to Asha.

The FBI continues to offer a $25,000 reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for Asha’s disappearance. The community and sheriff’s office are also offering an additional $20,000 reward. Our partners at Adam’s Outdoor Advertising will be displaying Asha’s picture on a number of digital billboards around the Charlotte area. The company is donating available space to help us publicize this important case and we are thankful for their help. If you have information on Asha’s disappearance, call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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