Police find missing woman's car, but no clues in Belmont

Police find missing woman's car, but no clues in Belmont

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by RAD BERKY / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on December 10, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 10 at 6:57 PM

BELMONT, N.C. -- A missing Charlotte woman's SUV has been found by police in Belmont. 

Janet Simpson’s SUV was found Thursday night in a parking lot of an old mill in a remote area of Belmont.

Police Chief David James says there was nothing amiss inside the GMC Envoy that would indicate what happened to 56-year old Simpson.

She has been missing since last Sunday and was last seen leaving a restaurant on East Independence Boulevard in Charlotte. A friend said she appeared normal but she had been depressed over the recent death of her mother.

Neighbors who live in a trailer park next to the parking lot where the SUV was found say it had been parked there most of last week.

Anthony Rogers said he first noticed it on Tuesday and said it caught his eye because it was parked in the grass, off the actual lot, facing the railroad tracks.

Another neighbor, Don Caudill, said he saw a man actually driving the SUV.

"Got back in the car and took off then came back," Caudill said. "Been sitting there since. He never returned to the car."

Investigators say they have been talking to anyone who saw the vehicle.

"A person, we can't say if was a male or female, was seen walking away from the vehicle," said Captain Charles Franklin of the Belmont Police Department.

Police Chief David James said investigators are also trying to determine if Simpson had ever been to this area before or knew someone who was familiar with the area. 

"People cross paths but we haven't been able to connect that yet about how she knew about this area because it is remote," James said.

Cadaver dogs were used to search the area around the parking lot and Charlotte Firefighters used a boat to search the nearby Catawba River. As darkness set in the search ended, without any clues as to what happened to Simpson.

Simpson is described as 5-feet-3, 130 pounds. She has hazel eyes and brown hair.

If you have information on Simpson's whereabouts, call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Missing Person Unit at 704-336-2311.

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