Table of Contents
Gone In The Night..., LadyBug, 08:53 PM, Feb-29-00
Little Girl Still Missing _Reward O..., LadyBug, 09:33 PM, Feb-29-00
Valentines Day Disappearance Stra..., LadyBug, 06:56 AM, Mar-15-00
Parents take polygraph, Bluefire, 11:50 AM, Mar-17-00
Counterfiters profit, Bluefire, 11:52 AM, Mar-17-00
Picture, Bluefire, 11:58 AM, Mar-17-00
Why Run Away?, Bluefire, 12:16 PM, Mar-17-00
37 Days Later New Billboard Up ..., LadyBug, 01:32 AM, Mar-24-00
Messages in this discussion
1 . "Gone In The Night..."
Posted by LadyBug on Feb-29-00 at 08:53 PM (EST)
Frantic Search For Missing Nine-Year-Old
Asha Degree, 9, has been missing since Monday morning. *NOTE ( Feb 14th )
CLEVELAND COUNTY -- Dozens of people are out scouring parts of Cleveland County for a
little girl who's been missing since Monday morning.
The parents of nine-year old Asha Degree went to wake her up for school and found she was
not in her bed.
Already, 60 volunteer firefighters and sheriff's deputies have searched the area surrounding
the family's home. They are saying little about the investigation, except that they are
treating it as a missing person's case.
Family members say that Asha's bookbag, her purse, and some clothes are missing.
Asha's mother, Iquilla Degree, begged for her child's return. "She's my baby, just bring her
back," she said. "If somebody took her, or if somebody has seen her, just bring her back."
Asha's parents said that she has not done anything like this in the past.
2 . "Little Girl Still Missing _Reward Offered"
Posted by LadyBug on Feb-29-00 at 09:33 PM (EST)
6:07 PM 02/29/2000
Mother hopes reward will help in search for her daughter
Asha Degree is still missing
CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. -- Two weeks ago a little girl from Cleveland County ran away from home.
She hasn't been seen since.
Asha Degree's mother is hoping a $5000 reward will bring some clues. Asha's family is taking this story
to national audience in the next few weeks. Her mother suspects that wherever she is, Asha is
scared and confused.
Two weeks into a grueling search for Asha Degree, there is no promising news on where the
9-year-old might be. That painful truth is taking its toll on Asha's mother.
"And I have to wake up every morning and its only one child getting ready for school instead of two.
That I'm not doing her hair like I do at least every other day," said Iquilla Degree.
And after two weeks of disappointments and no news at all, there is one thing Iquilla Degree just
can't afford to do.
"I don't think the worst. Because if I do, I can't get through the day," said Degree. "One day at a
time. I just pray and make myself think positively."
Countless people have spent hours searching the woods, the highways and byways for Asha, all to
no avail. Where all the legwork failed, Iquilla thinks just maybe reward money will do the trick.
"Hopefully the $5000 will motivate the people that's got her or somebody might know somebody that's
got her, to call the police or just bring her home," said Degree.
So far that hasn't happen. But Iquilla Degree refuses to throw up her hands in defeat. She wears
hope along with her Asha button.
"We're not giving up hope until I have a body or they call me to identify the body," said Degree. "And
then I know I'm still not going to lose hope because if, lord forbid, he decides to take her, I know
she's with god and she's taken care of, so I still won't have to worry."
Anyone who has information about the location of Asha Degree is asked to call the Cleveland County
Sheriff's Department at 704-484-4888.
3 . "Valentines Day Disappearance Strangest Ever "
Posted by LadyBug on Mar-15-00 at 06:56 AM (EST)
Experts baffled by strange disappearance
SHELBY, N.C. -- A month after 9-year-old Asha Degree walked off and disappeared into the night,
missing children experts say the case is as baffling as any they have ever seen.
Police still have few leads, although they believed she left her home willingly during the night then ran
Although that remains the most likely scenario, police say it is difficult to understand why a
well-adjusted fourth-grader would slip away from her house on a rainy night without explanation.
Although motorists saw her walking south on N.C. 18 near her house about 4 a.m. Valentine's Day,
she has not been seen since.
Two authorities on missing children say 9-year-olds simply don't walk out of their house in the middle
of the night and seemingly evaporate.
"She doesn't fit any standard profile of a missing child," said John Goad, director of the N.C. Center
for Missing Persons, citing Asha's age and apparently stable home. "I don't think a case like hers has
ever happened anywhere, anytime."
Last year, 877,000 children were reported missing, according to the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children. Since 1990, the center has resolved 93 percent of its cases.
In North Carolina, there were 6,361 children reported missing in 1999. Most were runaways;
none were abducted by strangers, according to the N.C. Center for Missing Persons. The state
agency collects information on missing persons in North Carolina and provides technical assistance
across the state to police.
Asha's parents reported her missing at 6:30 a.m., after her mother went to wake her up and found
she was gone. Her hair bow and other belongings were found in a shed beside the highway a day
later. A massive, week-long search by air and on foot revealed nothing else.
From the beginning, observers called Asha's case bizarre.
"Kids usually don't start running away until age 12," said Ben Ermini, director of the National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children's missing children division.
Goad said state officials rarely classify children younger than 10 as runaways.
Cleveland County Sheriff Dan Crawford, spent 22 years with the State Bureau of Investigation and
handled a number of child abductions, said most of the cases he was familiar with involved kidnappers
who stalked victims, much like serial rapists.
Asha's case is probably different, he said, because if she was abducted, she likely stumbled upon the
Such crimes of opportunity are difficult to crack because the offender may not have a criminal history
to flag police.
Two investigators working on Asha's case went to Quantico, Va., to meet with agents in the FBI's
Child Abduction and Serial Killer Unit, who drew up a psychological profile of a possible abductor.
Crawford would not discuss the profile.
"We have not had a substantial lead since the day she left," Crawford said. "It's very frustrating to
spend a lot of time and resources in an investigation and not have that good, substantial lead come
Did Asha go out in the night, hiked to meet a person she had befriended?
Asha's barrets were found in a barn. Was the meeting there?
OR could Asha have been sleepwalking and met with an accident or foul play?
How far to her school from home and in what direction from her front door? Is that same
direction the road she was last seen by the truckers?
4 . "Parents take polygraph"
Posted by Bluefire on Mar-17-00 at 11:50 AM (EST)
Parents Take Polygraph
SHELBY -- The probe into the disappearance of Asha Degree now has investigators from the
Cleveland County Sheriff's department questioning her parents with a polygraph test Tuesday.
Authorities do not consider her parents suspects and stress that polygraphs are routine in missing
It's been a month since 9-year-old Asha Degree walked off and disappeared into the night.
Police still have few leads, although they believed she left her home willingly during the night then ran
Motorists, questioned by police, saw her walking south on N.C. 18 near her house about 4 a.m.
Valentine's Day, she has not been seen since.
If you have any information that can help police find Asha Degree, please call the Cleveland County
Sheriff's Department at (704) 484-4888.
5 . "Counterfiters profit"
Posted by Bluefire on Mar-17-00 at 11:52 AM (EST)
Countefiters making profit on teeshirt sales
SHELBY- The search continues for 9-year-old, Asha Degree, who disappeared from her home over a
month ago. As the hunt continues about her whereabouts, Asha's parent now say that someone is
cashing in on the search efforts by pocketing money from T-shirts that were made to help find their
The Degree family has now decided to end the selling of T-shirts.
Meanwhile, police still have few leads in the case, although they believe she left her home willingly
during the night on Valentine's Day.
If you have any information that can help police find Asha Degree, please call Cleveland County
Sheriff's Department at (704) 484-4888
6 . "Picture"
Posted by Bluefire on Mar-17-00 at 11:58 AM (EST)
The one found on the posters at NCMEC are done over and quite ugly. This is the original.
7 . "Why Run Away?"
Posted by Bluefire on Mar-17-00 at 12:16 PM (EST)
Can't these people say a little about Asha? Reading every piece of news on her disappearance i can't
find one hint of what she was like, what sort of habits she had, what things she enjoyed doing or
anything else. Nobody talks about Asha as a person at all.
How in the heck do they expect anyone to identify the child without some of her personal quirks?
This is a strange case. Why would a nine year old run away in the middle of the night and walk along
the highway? Is it possible she was KICKED out after an arguement? Followed from home?
Why would her hair bow and backpack be in an old abandoned shed and not something a bit more
appropriate to a stranger abduction? Like certain pieces of clothing?
8 . "37 Days Later New Billboard Up On N.C. 18"
Posted by LadyBug on Mar-24-00 at 01:32 AM (EST)
Police seek new ways to find Asha
Star Managing Editor
SHELBY - Interviews of kids who know Asha Degree and a billboard seeking clues are two new
tacks being taken to find the missing 9-year-old.
Cleveland County Sheriff Dan Crawford stepped in front of a small army of TV cameras and
microphones Tuesday to introduce new members of the investigative team from the FBI and
Department of Justice. He also made a plea for new information from the public.
"Investigators have reason to believe that there may be individuals who have information
pertinent to this investigation, that for some unknown reasons, have yet to come forward
with said information."
It's been 37 days since anyone has reported seeing Asha>.
Hundreds of clues and leads have been followed since Asha disappeared, said Crawford, but
none of them have led detectives to the little girl.
Currently, the sheriff said his department is trying to rule out a handful of suspects.
He would say only that there are "active leads involving individuals that we are pursuing."
Crawford urged the public to report anyone whose normal activities have changed. He gave
as an example someone who has stopped driving a particular car since Asha disappeared.
Without a break in the case, Crawford said the team is forced to retrace its own steps and the
actions of Asha on the morning of Feb. 14.
Kimberly Poyer, a child interview specialist with the Department of Justice, said children,
"can become very critical" in a case like Asha's.
"This is not therapy," said Ms. Poyer about her interview techniques. "I follow a standard
Ms. Poyer would not identify any children she plans to interview while in Cleveland County,
but said it's often helpful to talk with children who have witnessed crimes or know a victim.
Asha's 10-year-old brother, O'Bryant, was the last person in the Degree home to see Asha.
O'Bryant told police Asha got up during the night to go to the bathroom. She was discovered
missing the following morning.
Crawford said he made the right decision by calling members of the FBI and SBI the day Asha
was reported missing.
"I felt like the criteria was met early on," said Crawford, adding that, "I'm not looking for
glory or anything else, I'm looking for this little girl."
A profile of a possible suspect was done in Quantico, Va., at an FBI lab, but Crawford said
there isn't enough evidence for profilers to draw on.
Crawford continues to say that, "there is a strong belief that foul play is involved in Asha
FBI Supervisor Rick Shaffer said there isn't a shred of evidence in the case.
"It's very unusual," said Shaffer, "and that's why there's such a resolve and commitment to
Crawford said Asha could have been abducted, but leaves open the possibility that she
traveled beyond the search area on her own and was injured by natural causes.
"The child, Asha Degree, has just basically disappeared," said Crawford. "We're having
trouble building this case. We have had no productive sightings since that Monday, the 14th."
Anyone with information about Asha Degree is urged to call 476-3030 or send written
information to Sheriff Dan Crawford at P.O. Box 3117, Shelby, N.C. 28151.
*(Continued link )
Hunt for girl will try a billboard
Investigators stymied in disappearance of Cleveland County 9-year-old
By AILEEN SOPER
SHELBY -- Police say they will erect a full-size color billboard with the picture of a missing
9-year-old Cleveland County girl and other identifying information along the road where she
was last spotted five weeks ago.
The sign on N.C. 18 is intended to jog the recollections of people who might have more
information about the disappearance of Asha Degree, last seen by motorists on N.C.18 as she
walked along the highway about 4 a.m. on Valentine's Day, just a mile from her house.
*( Continued link )
A full-size color billboard with the picture of
9-year old Asha Degree went up today -- (WBTV)
Authorities in Cleveland County say they are more sure than ever that someone was
involved in the disappearance of Asha. Investigators from the Justice Department are here to
interview her brother and classmates who are all described as potential witnesses.
The story had been removed, updated page.