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Crime and Public Safety

Missing NC woman was headed on trip with boyfriend when she vanished, friend says



FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. News — Search crews are looking in ponds, wooded areas, and using drones and cadaver dogs to find 42-year Jessica Lawrence, who went missing in September.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office tells CBS17 that they found a cellphone during their search on Hubbard Road near Rowland and are working to confirm if it belonged to Lawrence.

Lawrence, who used to live in High Point, was last seen on September 26, but not reported missing until last week.

Deputies in Robeson County say she left work at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville and stopped by her home in St. Pauls, located about 30 minutes north of Lumberton.

Linda Locklear lives next door and tells CBS 17 Lawrence just moved to the neighborhood.

“I let her have curtains to put up before she got her stuff in there and we just hit it off. It was just like we knew each other for years,” Locklear said of their friendship. “I don’t have a vehicle so she said ‘girl you don’t have to worry about going to town now’ because she said ‘I’ll take you when ever you want to.’”

Locklear said Lawrence and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Michael Brayboy, had plans to go to Pembroke the night she went missing.

“That night is the last night that I’ve seen that vehicle or him or her,” said Locklear.

When Lawrence didn’t meet her landlord to pay rent, Locklear said they went inside her house on October 12 to check on her.

“We saw stains on the wall and stains on the curtain and a bloody sock on the floor,” said Locklear.

Deputies found Bradboy driving Lawrence’s Jeep Grand Cherokee in Red Springs on October 13, weeks after she was last seen.

Court records show Bradboy is a convicted sex offender and spent more than 20 years in prison for rape.

Bradboy hasn’t been charged in Lawrence’s disappearance, but deputies did arrest him for failing to report a change of address by a sex offender.

He’s in the Robeson County Detention Center on a $1.5 million bond. Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said he suspects foul play in Lawrence’s disappearance.

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