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MISSING

ASHA DEGREE

DATE February 14, 2000   |   LOCATION Shelby, North Carolina

Quiet and shy 9-year-old who loved basketball and wanted to be an illustrator Asha Jacquilla Degree was a 9-year-old living with her family in Shelby, North Carolina. Asha, her older brother, 10-year-old O’Bryant, and their parents, Harold and Iquilla Degree, were all very close. Her teachers and classmates described Asha as an exceptional student with outstanding grades and attendance records. She was known to excel in her math and science classes, but she also enjoyed reading and writing.

 

Asha had dreams of becoming an illustrator in the future and writing and illustrating children’s books for others to enjoy. Other than family and school, the most important thing in Asha’s life was basketball. Asha played on a youth league team in the Fallston area as a point guard.

CONTACT INFORMATION

FBI Charlotte: 704-672-6100

Cleveland County Sheriff's Office: 704-484-4822

  

CASE CIRCUMSTANCES

The day before Asha disappeared, the family spent their morning at church as always, and went to their Aunt Alisha’s house to spend time and have lunch with their grandmother. After they returned home, Asha and her older brother went to bed in their shared bedroom and Asha would seemingly disappear into thin air.

 

Asha was last seen on February 14, 2000, between 3:30 and 4:15am by a truck driver and another motorist walking South on highway 18 North of Shelby, North Carolina. When one of the motorists turned around to check on Asha, the driver reported she ran into the woods. After extensive police searches that day, items belonging to Asha were found in a tool shed behind Debbie Turner’s Upholstery shop, roughly a mile north of Asha’s residence.

 

Over a year later on August 3, 2001, a construction contractor found a backpack belonging to Asha buried at their worksite, inside were a children’s book belonging to the library of Asha’s school, and a band t-shirt which did not belong to Asha. More recently, law enforcement shared new details that a witness reportedly saw Asha get into either an early 1970s green-colored Lincoln Mark IV or Ford Thunderbird with rust around the wheel wells the day she disappeared.

MEDIA SOURCES

Charley Project

Jet Magazine

WHAT'S LEFT TO BE UNCOVERED?

Sadly, Asha Degree is one of the 200,000+ cold cases that are still unsolved. But together we can make an impact. Here are five ways to help you start thinking about how your insights, actions and awareness can help uncover answers in Asha's case:

IN THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES 

Visit the Uncovered case visualization for Asha's case to better understand all the elements of this cold case.

IN THE NEXT FIVE HOURS

Visit The True Crime Files website for more information about Asha and her case.

IN THE NEXT FIVE DAYS

If you lived in or near Shelby, NC in 2000 and you knew someone with a green 1970s model Ford Thunderbird or Lincoln Mark IV with rust around the wheel wells, please send in a tip to FBI Charlotte: 704-672-6100.

 

 

IN THE NEXT FIVE WEEKS

Download the Uncovered Citizen Detective Guide to learn more about how thoughtful and safe online sleuthing.

IN THE NEXT FIVE MONTHS

Become an Uncovered Cold Case Captain and invite a friend to join you. We are continuously visualizing cold cases like Asha's, and we need your help. Having you as a digital volunteer to uncover answers using publicly available information with our team is one step closer to our mission of finding the intersection of justice, peace, and closure for the families of the murdered and missing—join us!

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