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Family desperate for answers after 39-year-old woman vanishes: ‘She needs somebody to advocate for her’


(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — More than a week after a 39-year-old woman vanished in North Carolina, her family is desperate for answers.

Allisha Watts was last seen on July 16 leaving a house in Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

According to Watts’ sister, Stephanie Johnson, Watts was last seen with her boyfriend of one year.

The couple met when Watts, who lives in Moore County, North Carolina, would drive to Charlotte to visit her cousin, Gwendolyn Utley, who is the boyfriend’s neighbor, Johnson said. Now, every other Friday, Watts drives to Charlotte for the weekend, her sister said.

Johnson said Utley last saw Watts on the afternoon of July 16. The cousins planned to go to Charlotte’s Bojangles Coliseum for a comedy show, Johnson said, and when Watts didn’t show up, Utley reported her missing.

On July 18, Watts’ 2023 black Mercedes Benz GLC 300 was found in Anson County, North Carolina, police said. Anson County is located southeast of Charlotte.

Watts’ purse was found in her car and her phone was recovered at her boyfriend’s house, according to Johnson. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police would not confirm.

Johnson described her sister, who works in the mental health field, as a “hard working, independent, reliable, resourceful, loving, kind, attentive person.”

“She advocates for people’s mental health, and right now she needs somebody to advocate for her,” Johnson told ABC News on Tuesday.

“She’s out there somewhere,” Johnson said. “Every day that passes by, we are less likely to bring her home safe.”

James Johnson, CEO of the Racial Justice Network, at a news conference Wednesday criticized the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, accusing the department of not putting enough work into the case and not sharing their information with Watts’ family.

Dearest Price, the Charlotte regional director of the Racial Justice Network, insisted that Police Chief Johnny Jennings meet with them.

“We need to see you today. We need to sit at the table,” Price said in an impassioned statement. “We need to know what’s going on.”

The police declined to comment to ABC News about the news conference, deferring to their Twitter statement on Wednesday that said they’re “following all leads and using all available resources to locate Ms. Watts. Detectives have been in communication with immediate family members of Ms. Watts and their designee to provide updates and request relevant information.”

Police ask anyone with information to call 911. James Johnson said people can also call the Racial Justice Network at 800-694-1981.

“Somebody knows something, and we want them to come forward,” he said.

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