As more than 100 people searched over the weekend for a Concord woman missing since August, her sister said the family is searching for peace and answers above all.
Every day, it really becomes in some ways more unbelievable, but it also becomes your new normal, Mechelle Carey said. I think were honest about the fact that were praying for peace and whatever that entails.
Crystal Morrison, 31, was last seen on Aug. 23, shortly after she called a friend to pick her up from work at Connextions Recruiting, a customer service company in Concord.
When the friend arrived, Morrison was gone.
The $30 million question is, why did she walk out? Why did she leave after she made the phone call? asked Kevin Ryan, the private investigator hired by the family. Someone out there knows where shes at and whats going on. I honestly believe that.
Over the weekend, the Wilmington-based CUE Center for Missing Persons partnered with Concord police to organize the most comprehensive search to date in the Morrison case.
Professional search teams searched by horse, ATV, foot and car in a four-square-mile area near Connextions, off International Drive in Concord.
The group also took out nearly a dozen canine units to help with the search.
I hope we find something related to her case, if not her herself, Monica Caison, founder of the CUE Center, said. Nobody is going to give up looking for her, I know that. Shes got some dedicated law enforcement that are working very hard on her case.
Should the search yield no leads, Ryan said, investigators will at least be able to cross off one more place from their list of areas to search.
Witnesses saw Morrison walking down International Drive, then turning right onto N.C. 73 toward U.S. 29 on Aug. 23.
No one has reported seeing or hearing from the 31-year-old single mother since then. Her bank and credit cards show no activity.
Based on the interviews Ive done, I can almost say for certainty that she definitely did not run away, Ryan said.
By all accounts, Morrison was a doting mother to her 8-year-old son, Kyson, and would never have left him willingly.
Police can verify she walked past the Mistletoe Ridge neighborhood, but her trail runs cold around Waters Edge Apartments, before N.C. 73 crosses Winecoff School Road.
Earlier reports placed her inside the McDonalds at N.C. 73 and International Drive, but neither receipts nor video footage confirm that.
Carey said that working with a private investigator and the CUE Center has helped her family cope with the ups and downs of having a missing loved one.
Its something about having someone so focused on your case that just makes you feel less anxious, she said. Theyve been a godsend for our family.
Since Morrison went missing, more than 5,100 people have liked the Help Find Crystal Morrison Facebook page.
Carey said she worries most about her nephew, Kyson, since its been nearly a half-year since hes seen his mother.
Were trying to keep it as positive as possible. We want to make sure he knows that people are out there looking for her and that people havent given up, Carey said. We let him talk about her things he misses about her, things he loves. And we always speak in present tense about her.
Carey said she hopes that the massive search over the weekend and subsequent coverage will help keep Morrisons story fresh in peoples minds, she said.
This is about an 8-year-old little boy who needs his mom, she said. Shes a great mom and a great woman. And somebody knows something. Thats too busy of an area for someone not to know something.