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Fourth woman goes missing in North Carolina town where 3 others found dead prompting fears of serial killer

October 6, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Fourth woman goes missing in North Carolina town where 3 others found dead prompting fears of serial killer

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The FBI has joined the investigations of three women whose bodies were discovered within the last year in the same town in North Carolina where a fourth woman has now disappeared, prompting fears of a possible serial killer.

Abby Patterson, 20, told her mother she would come home in an hour when she left her family home in Lumberton on the morning of September 5th and got in an old Buick outside.

Police are still searching for the woman — who has not been seen or heard from — as they also look into the deaths of three others whose remains were discovered weeks apart from each other in a three-block span of Lumberton, Fox8 reported.

“At this point, we don’t know if there’s a connection,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said.

Abby Patterson (above) has been missing since September 5. Photo / Supplied

“We’re soliciting help from the community,” McNeill said to Fox News. “Someone has information we need.”

Detectives found the body of 32-year-old Christina Bennett on April 18th inside an abandoned residence in Lumberton — a city of close to 22,000 residents in Robeson County. Later that day, the body of Rhonda Jones was discovered in a nearby trash bin.

Megan Oxendine, a local living in the town, was interviewed by a local news station at the time Jones’ body was found. Weeks later, on June 3, Oxendine’s remains were discovered roughly 500 feet away from where the other bodies were located.

There were no clear signs of trauma to the victims, and authorities are still waiting for autopsy reports from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh.

A spokesperson for the FBI confirmed to Fox News that the bureau is helping local authorities with the investigations.

In Patterson’s case, investigators said they had identified the man last seen with the young woman, who was residing in Florida and visiting her mother in Lumberton for two days when she went missing.

“We’re talking to him,” Lumberton Police Department Captain Terry Parker noted.

“We think it’s someone she knew, but we are not sure,” Parker added, who did not identify the man or reveal whether he’s a person of interest.

Abby Patterson (Family photo via FoxNews.com)

“Abby is listed as a missing person. We’ve had reported sightings of her, but none have been confirmed,” he continued.

The woman’s mother, meanwhile, told Fox News it was not like her daughter to willingly cut contact with her family.

“We talk every day,” Samantha Lovette, Patterson’s mother, said. “When she didn’t come home, I called her cell phone, and it went to voicemail.”

“We want her home,” Lovette added, who referred to her daughter, who is the youngest of three children, as “bubbly and free-spirited.”

“Everybody she meets, she loves, and they love her,” the heartbroken mom said.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Patterson’s whereabouts.

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