Friday marked 20 years since 9-year-old Asha Degree of Shelby in Cleveland County disappeared. According to the FBI, Degree was last seen walking alone along Highway 18, where about two years later, her backpack was found buried at a construction site in nearby Burke County along a stretch of that highway. Some of her belongings were still inside — a library book from a concert T-shirt. They revealed that information two years ago.
In 2015, they released photos of a vehicle that Degree may have been seen getting into the morning she disappeared. FBI officials, who are helping to investigate the case, are featuring Degree’s case on the FBI website Friday with a new age-progressed photo of Asha posted on the site. The photo will also appear on billboards around Charlotte.
Investigators and Degree’s parents are assuming that she is still alive. According the FBI, Degree was last seen by her family asleep in her bedroom around 2:30 am. She was spotted a short time later by drivers, walking along the side of N.C. 18 in Shelby. Investigators say there was no sign of forced entry and no promising scent trail for search dogs to follow.