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  1. #1

    NC - Asha Degree, 9, Shelby, 14 Feb 2000

    Asha Jaquilla Degree

    Date of Birth: August 5, 1990 Place of Birth: Shelby, North Carolina
    Sex: Female Hair: Black
    Height: 4'6" (at the time of her disappearance) Eyes: Brown
    Weight: 60 pounds (at the time of her disappearance) Race: Black

    Asha Jaquilla Degree has been missing from her home in Shelby, North Carolina since February 14, 2000. Asha's father last saw her at approximately 2:30 a.m. while she was asleep in her bedroom. By dawn, her parents were unable to locate her anywhere in the house.

    Asha Degree's black bookbag and her black pocketbook with Tweety Bird on it were missing from her room. However, these items were located a few months later.

    Poster from NCMEC:

    Link to FBI website with photos:
    Last edited by KateB; 04-08-2015 at 02:18 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

  2. #2
    SBI Search For Possible Remains Of Asha Degree

    November 10, 2004

    Police say their search is in connection to the Asha Degree case, but won't say what they're looking for.

    Asha Degree has been missing since Valentine's Day of 2000. She was last seen sometime between 2:30 a.m., when her father said he went to bed. When her mother went to Asha's bedroom at around 6:30 a.m. to wake her up for school, she was gone.

    It's believed she left on her own, but then met trouble. A massive search began, hundreds of volunteers, law officers, rescue workers, combing dense woods around State Road 18 where Asha was last seen.

    The only clues police had to go on were two reports from motorists who were on Highway 18 around 4 a.m. Monday morning. He said the reports came in late Monday afternoon. "One Sun-drop truck driver and another motorist have called since they saw that she was missing on television, and told officers that they saw a girl walking on the road about that time," Crawford said. "We're pretty sure it was her because the descriptions they gave are consistent with what we know she was wearing."

    Asha was a fourth-grader at Fallston Elementary School. Police said the only items missing from the house were her sneakers, a pair of pants, a pocketbook with Tweety Bird on it and her school bookbag.

    Later, deputies recovered a black and beige bookbag, which was found inside a plastic bag and sent to FBI for analysis. Cleveland County Sheriff Dan Crawford said his office suspected foul play.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    How could a 10 year old leave her home at 4:00 a.m.? Don't kids usually sleep through the night? What would make a 10 year old leave her home at that hour? Aren't most kids that age nervous about being out at that time?

  4. #4
    tennessee is offline Blew out my flipflop. Stepped on a pop top . . .
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I think that every year these children are being forced into situations they can't handle. It is amazing just how much knowledge these kids have as early as 2nd-3rd grade. It isn't uncommon to hear sexual and violent comments among that age group.

    I, too, have a 14 yo daughter who is just few weeks older than this little girl. She sees and hears things daily that I didn't know about until I was older than she is now. The things she tells me about people she knows is unreal and we live in BFE. It is a totally different world out there than it was just a few years ago and it gets worse all the time. I suppose that we as parents just have to do our best to teach our kids to think before they act and to follow their gut instincts. Heaven help us.

    Perhaps this little girl was running away. Maybe she was going to hook up with an internet predator. I doubt we will ever find out why she left home that morning. Hopefully, her parents will someday find her and have peace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Trino
    How could a 10 year old leave her home at 4:00 a.m.? Don't kids usually sleep through the night? What would make a 10 year old leave her home at that hour? Aren't most kids that age nervous about being out at that time?

    Kids seem to grow up much faster these days. (I have a 13 year old daughter who seems much wiser beyond her years - at least much wiser than I ever was...)
    I dont think we will ever have the answer as to why she left, I just hope her parents get the answer as to where she is. The "unknown" has gone on long enough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    A new tip

    A new tip is prompting a dig at a new site

    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?

    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    That is a password website so I thought I would post the article for all to read (I hope that is acceptable):

    New clue in 2000 disappearance?

    Tip in search for Asha leads to dig at clearing

    Staff Writer
    A new tip about the 2000 disappearance of 9-year-old Asha Degree prompted authorities Monday to dig at a cleared site south of Shelby.

    They carried away at least two bags filled with dirt, but authorities didn't say what they found, if anything. They also declined to say who provided the tip and when.

    Officials with the FBI, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office were at the site, along with three cadaver dogs.

    Asha Degree was last seen in the predawn hours of Feb. 14, 2000, walking along N.C. 18, about a mile from her home north of Shelby. Her hair bow, candy wrappers and a pen and pencil were found the next day, about 600 feet from where she was last seen.

    In August 2001, her bookbag was found along N.C. 18, about 40 miles north.

    Authorities say they've received multiple tips since then. The most recent one before Monday prompted a four-day dig in November. That search yielded only animal bones.

    "You always hear new things," said Cleveland County Chief Deputy Danny Gordon. "Like we said before, we're going to investigate every tip."

    It's unclear whether Asha's parents, who live north of Shelby, knew about Monday's search. The family couldn't be reached for comment Monday.

    The tip was first reported Monday afternoon by WCNC, the Observer's news partner.

    Federal, state and local officials arrived at the site around 9 a.m. Monday and finished searching about 5 p.m. They didn't use a backhoe like they did in the fall, but mostly sifted through dirt they collected.

    The land they searched was cleared about four years ago when Christ Covenant Church planned to build a new church there, said Edna Lovelace, 67, who lives in front of the property.

    But the church never built there, and the land has remained untouched since then, she said.

    "For the peace of mind of her parents, I wish they'd find (Asha)," Lovelace said. "It breaks their heart with every (tip) that comes in."

    • If you have information about Asha Degree, call the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at (704) 484-4888.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I've followed Asha's disappearance almost from the beginning. It's a real shame they haven't located her or her body yet. Does anyone know if this new site yielded any clues?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    The South, USA

    NC-Asha Degree, 9, Shelby, 2000

    I wonder what happened to this little girl? It sounds like she went looking for an adventure like the one in The Whipping Boy and met up with the wrong person.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E
    I wonder what happened to this little girl? It sounds like she went looking for an adventure like the one in The Whipping Boy and met up with the wrong person.


    My question is this: if you were driving down the road and you saw a little 9 yr old kid out by herself would you just keep driving? It must have been in the early morning or still the middle of the night as the little girl disappeared into the dark. Who in the heck would just keep driving? I know I wouldn't. Common sense would tell me to stop and see why the little girl is out by herself in the middle of the night.

    Seems that her belongings were found here and there. Chances are she is no longer alive as her bookbag was found. I would think someone took her from her room if she hadn't taken her bookbag. I hope she is found. These cases just are all so sad.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    The South, USA
    I can think of a few scenarios.

    1) She was coerced from her home by somebody she met online. Apparently she was a "shy, quiet girl." I wonder if she used the Internet and met someone she thought was a friend online? I have a 9yo, and she is very savvy with her computer. This person could have told Asha s/he would meet her, befriend her, whatever. This person could have coerced Asha from her home.

    2) She left her home for an unknown reason, and was struck by a car on or near the highway. The driver, afraid of what might happen, decided to hide the fact by taking Asha and concealing her body.

    3) She left home for an unknown reason and was picked up by a stranger.

    4) She ran away and was hurt/picked up by a stranger. It seems to me that she was running away. There were quite a few clothes missing from her room, including a pair of shoes that did not match the shoes shown in the picture. The question is, did she intend on returning home, or was she running away for good (in her mind)? Was she meeting somebody?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Regardless of why she left home or if she left on her own I still don't understand how an adult can see a little kid out by themselves in the dark and not stop to see why she is out there. Those that saw her might have saved her life if they had only stopped to ask a few questions and then called 911 right away. It didn't do this little one any good for people to come forward way later.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    San Diego
    Who in the right mind would see a child out at that time of morning and not stop or at the least, call LE to check it out!?

    I wonder if this child haunts those that didn't stop?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    THe statement "two motorists reported seeing her" is unclear to me.

    Does that mean, two motorists that morning called 911 and said hey there's a little girl walking on the side of the road? Or did they only report it after her disappearance was announced? Some people, especially women, are very wary of being out alone in the wee hours and being "trapped" into stopping to render aid, and then becoming victims. Maybe the motorists called at that moment . . .

    The other thing about this article that catches my eye, is how many kids go missing from their homes have parents who have checked on them in the wee hours of the morning. So often when there's a mysterious disappearance of a child in the middle of the night, there is a parent who will state they checked on them in the wee hours of the morning and the child was fine.

    Do people check on their kids like that? I never do. Like, never do I ever open my child's door at 2:30 just to look at them. Does anyone else? I can't tell you how often I've seen this in stories of missing kids - Danarriah Finley, Tamara Keepness, I'm pulling a blank here but it seems typical. HM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I don't know if the two motorists called as soon as they saw her or if they called after they read about it in the paper or heard it on the news. I would think that if they called at the time they saw her the cops would have found her. The motorists could have pointed right at the spot she had disappeared into. How far could a little girl get within 5-10 minutes? Cops carry big flashlights and they probably would have spotted her.

    Her dad said that he checked on her right before he went to bed at 2:30 am. Maybe that was his habit for whatever reason. I don't remember checking on my kids during the night. I just assumed, I would imagine, that they were in their beds dreaming away. Course that was a long time ago and the world we lived in wasn't so scary. Now I might check. Now I think I would have an alarm system in place. So many kids have disappeared from their beds that it seems nowhere is safe. I do keep my doors and windows locked. I even lock my doors during the day...a habit I have had for about 12 years now.

    I know it isn't safe to stop on roads in the dark. You never know what could happen if you leave your vehicle. A child could be a setup to get a person to leave their vehicle BUT I know that if I saw a little one out by themself I couldn't just keep on driving. I don't have a cell phone and I couldn't just leave that child out there. If I did and then I read about that child in the news I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

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