RALEIGH — Leah Roberts went missing in 2004. The NC State grad disappeared while on a cross country trip.
Her case is the inspiration for the Cue Center's annual Road Tour. Now volunteers set out on a grueling journey bringing attention to other unsolved cases, including some from right here in North Carolina.
Roberts left Durham heading west in 2004 never to be heard from again. Nine days after she left, investigators found her wrecked, abandoned car on a logging trail near Mount Baker, Washington.
"I think if Leah was alive and well and in the mental capacity to be able to be here I think she would," said sister Kara Roberts.
Investigators know from debit card purchases Leah Robert's route but they do not know exactly what happened to her. Some suspect foul play. There has even been recent DNA evidence suggesting someone might have tampered with her car before the crash.
To help shine light on the case, Monica Caison, founder of the CUE Center for Missing Persons decided to re-trace Roberts' route. In 2004 she set out on a grueling 14-day trip to bring attention to the case.
"You're just overwhelmed. There are always so many families there, so many experiences you are going to have within that hour or two stop and they'll be people with cases you don't even know about saying I heard about this, can you help me?," said Caison.
The road tour profiles hundreds of cases nationwide. This year's route treks through eight states where families will gather to bring attention to their missing loved ones.
"I think everyone close to Leah thinks that she was on a soul searching tour or trip and unfortunately instead of finding herself she ended up getting lost," said Kara Roberts.