Crime & Courts

FBI releases new details in 2000 disappearance of Asha Degree

Asha Degree at age 9 and what she would look like at age 24
Asha Degree at age 9 and what she would look like at age 24 FBI Charlotte

The FBI released new details Wednesday in the disappearance of 9-year-old Asha Degree from her Shelby home in 2000.

The FBI and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office have received information that someone matching Asha’s description might have been seen getting into a “distinctive vehicle” along N.C. 18 where Asha was last seen.

The car is described as an early 1970s Lincoln Mark IV or possibly a Ford Thunderbird, dark green, with rust around the wheel wells.

The FBI continues to offer a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Asha’s disappearance.

On Feb. 14, 2000, Asha left her home in the middle of the night and disappeared.

Asha’s family last saw her asleep in her bedroom around 2:30 a.m. An hour-and-a-half later, she was seen by drivers walking along N.C. 18 in Shelby. Her parents reported her missing by 6:30 a.m., according to the FBI.

More than a year later, Asha’s book bag was discovered buried along N.C. 18 in Burke County.

Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to call FBI Charlotte at 704-672-6100.

The FBI released the new details in conjunction with National Missing Children’s Day.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak