8 years, 11 miles, 2 children
In 1990, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina began investigating the tragic case of a woman found dead along Interstate 40 in Hillsborough. Eight years later, and 11 miles away, tragedy struck the I-40 corridor in Orange County again. On Sept. 25, 1998, a small boy was found on a service road in Mebane.
While law enforcement has no reason to believe these two cases are connected, they do highlight a heartbreaking type of case agencies across the country investigate every day, the identification of unknown child victims.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is currently assisting law enforcement and medical examiners offices around the country with more than 650 cases.
These young people may have had friends and neighbors, classmates and teammates. Someone may have seen them walking to school, or going to work. They could have been in someone’s life every day, and then suddenly were not.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s help in identifying these two victims.
September 25, 1998
On Sept. 25, 1998 a maintenance crew discovered the body of a small boy while mowing the side of a service road in Mebane, N.C. known as Industrial Drive.
It has been 15 years since the boy was found and he remains unidentified.
Law enforcement believes the boy was white or Hispanic and between the ages of 10 and 12 years old. He likely died elsewhere and was moved to this location adjacent to Interstate 40 between Hillsborough and Greensboro sometime in the spring or summer of 1998.
The boy was approximately 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighed about 50 pounds and had straight brown hair. He had an overbite and protective sealant on his teeth, so law enforcement believes he likely visited a dentist.
When the boy was found he was wearing khaki, “Fox Polo Club” brand shorts, size 13. He had on black and white athletic shoes, size 3, with the label “2XS Sports”. The shoes showed almost no wear and may have been relatively new.
The child was also wearing white tube socks and brief underwear. He was not wearing a shirt. Found inside his the shorts pockets were two 20 dollar bills and a 10 dollar bill.
September 19, 1990
Sept. 19, 1990, clean-up crews were working along Interstate 40 in Hillsborough, N.C. when they discovered the body of a young, partially clothed female.
It’s been 23 years since the young woman was found and she remains unidentified.
Law enforcement believes the woman, who between 15 and 25 years old, was tossed from a vehicle and had been on the side of the highway just east of Exit 263 to New Hope Church Road for four to six days before being discovered.
Reports suggest this same young woman may have been at a truck stop 20 miles east in Burlington, N.C. several days prior to her death.
The young woman was approximately 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed about 110 pounds. Her hair was shoulder length, layered and may have been frosted blonde and brown in color. She also had her appendix removed and a corresponding scar on her stomach.
When the victim was found she was wearing a pink sweatshirt with three bunnies on it, a white bra, white ankle socks and shoes size 6 or 6.5. She was also wearing a yellow metal ring on her left ring finger and a thick twisted metal bracelet on her left wrist.
If you have any information that may lead to either victim’s identity, call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678). Calls may be made anonymously.