When she opened the children's room to wake them up before their 6:30 alarm and call them to the bath, O'Bryant was in his bed; Asha was not, and Iquilla was unable to find her in the house or in the family cars. In the morning, her parents discovered her absence. Edit. Police dogs called to the scene could not pick up Asha's scent. It was described as having rust around its wheel wells. February 14, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST - Updated February 14 at 11:24 PM, Cleveland County Sheriff, investigators remain committed to case 20 years after Asha Degree’s disappearance, Artist who created age progression photo of missing Asha Degree explains process, Deputies reveal new clues potentially related to disappearance of Asha Degree, Details released on Central Arkansas officer involved shooting, ties to child abduction case, 4-year-old killed in fall from ‘upper floor’ at SC hotel, North Carolina has smallest number of “red” counties since start of COVID-19 County Alert System, Gov. She was allegedly spotted by several witnesses, one of whom approached her in their car out of concern. Investigators heard from two people who said they saw a girl walking along N.C. 18 around 4 a.m. One person said when they went back to check on her, the child disappeared into the woods. The parents tend to be painted as God-fearing uptight Puritans, leading some people to wonder if Asha were running away from stifling conditions at home. [24] They host an annual walk to raise awareness and money to fund their search. 21 years ago, 9-year-old Asha Degree disappeared from her home in North Carolina. Almost an hour later, the power went out in the neighborhood after a nearby car accident. [30], In October 2018, the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office detectives appealed for information from the public about two items of interest that were found in Degree's bookbag: McElligot's Pool, a children's book by Dr. Seuss, which was borrowed from the Fallston Elementary School library in early 2000, and a New Kids on the Block concert T-shirt. [ Artist who created age progression photo of missing Asha Degree explains process ]. [31][32], In November 2020, an inmate named Marcus Mellon, who was convicted of sex crimes against children in 2014, wrote a letter to The Shelby Star, claiming that Degree was murdered and he knows where to find her. Asha Degree was an intelligent and friendly nine-year-old girl who lived outside of Shelby, North Carolina. Degree’s parents, who had their 33rd wedding anniversary Sunday, believe there are still clues out there. [7] Iquilla said Asha handled this well; she was cautious, shy, and content mostly to stay within the limits her parents set. Two people reported seeing a little girl walking along Highway 18 around 4 a.m. A year and a half later, her book bag was found 30 miles away in Burke County. New clues in Asha Degree's disappearance There are new details and a new witness in the case of Asha Degree, the 9-year-old missing for 16 years … On February 16, Iquilla realized that Asha's bedroom was missing her favorite clothing, including a pair of blue jeans with a red stripe. Harold and Iquilla Degree married on Valentine's Day in 1988. On the morning of Feb. 14, 2000, Asha’s parents, Harold and Iquilla, went to wake her for school, but she was nowhere to be found. To this day, no one knows why she left, or why she was walking along Highway 18 alone around 4 in the morning. Iquilla went through the neighborhood calling Asha's name, which she said had awakened everyone by 7 a.m.[7] Friends, family, and neighbors canceled their plans for the day to assist police in searching the vicinity while the pastor of their church, along with other area clergymen, came to the Degrees' home to support them. They were a religious family and Asha never missed her weekly Bible study at church. It was a rainy night, and the witness said there was a "storm raging" when he saw her. She has not been seen since. Iquilla called her mother, who told her to call the police. That is when panic full set in for her parents. By WBTV Web Staff | February 14, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST - Updated February 14 at 11:24 PM . Maybe, although I suspect that either the parents are much more reasonable humans than they seem to be in media depictions, or they were a lot worse at keeping an eye on her than they thought. They have speculated that she might have been abducted instead. The Cleveland County Schools were closed on Friday, February 11, while the Degrees still had to work; the children spent the day at their aunt's house in the same neighborhood, from which they went to their youth basketball practices at their school. Many of them cancelled their plans for the day to search for the girl. “[E]very time you turned on the TV there was some pedophile who had lured somebody’s child away, via the Internet” Iquilla recalled in a 2013 Jet interview. It was wrapped in a plastic bag. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 218,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. [27], The FBI announced 15 months later, in May 2016, that their reinvestigation of the case had turned up a possible new lead. 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