Woman who vanished from Lumberton had just returned from rehab, report says

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A 20-year-old who disappeared from Lumberton last month had returned home from rehab just a few days before she vanished, according to a police missing person report obtained by CBS North Carolina.

Abby Patterson was last seen September 5, police have said.

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Patterson’s mother, Samantha Lovette, said neighbors saw Patterson get into a car down the street from Lovette’s home. Police describe the person in the car as an “acquaintance.”

The driver told police that Patterson was dropped off at another location. Police declined to say where that was.

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Her mother told CBS North Carolina that she received a text from her daughter that day saying she would be gone about an hour. She never heard from her daughter again.

By the time the missing person report was filed at 6 p.m. the same day, Patterson’s phone was going straight to voicemail, according to the document.

Patterson had come to Lumberton only a few days earlier, the police report states. Before that, she had been in rehab in Florida for heroin addiction, according to the report. Her mother said Patterson last lived in Lumberton about three years ago.

Her case is the second high-profile case involving women in that part of Lumberton this year.

Earlier this year, Megan Oxendine, 28, Christina Bennett, 32, and Rhonda Jones, 36, were all found dead in the area between East Fifth and East Eighth streets.

EARLIER: Woman missing from Lumberton said she would be back in an hour, mom says

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Bennett’s and Jones’ bodies were found April 18. Oxendine was alive at the time and talked with CBS North Carolina in an interview about the death of her friend, Jones. Oxendine’s body was found June 3.

Lumberton have said they believe the three women’s deaths and Patterson’s disappearance are not related. Asked why, police said the other women were “known to be on the street” and that Patterson is not. Police declined to elaborate on what “on the street” meant.