WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Friday marked five years since anyone has seen Ebonee Spears.
She was last seen at her Nixon Street apartment when she asked a neighbor for a cigarette. Earlier that day, she went to the police station to make a phone call and wasn’t acting like herself.
Countless birthdays, anniversaries and holidays have passed since loved ones talked to Spears, but her family will not rest until she comes home.
Her family observed the anniversary of the date she was last seen with a drive-through event to keep her case top of mind.
Bundles of bright pink balloons were tied around her mother’s home. The yard was decorated with bold letters spelling out “BRING EBONEE SPEARS HOME.” Praise music played from a radio as people circled the block in their cars to support the cause.
The aim of the event was to bring comfort to Spears’ loved ones and keep her name in the headlines in hopes that someone will come forward with details about her case. Spears’ mother says whether its been five days or five years, her loss cuts deep.
“I just don’t want Ebonee to be a cold case sitting in a box. I want it to continue to be worked on,” said her mother, Harriet Rivers.
Many members of the family have grown up watching rallies like this each year in her honor. Terence Spears was just five years old when Ebonee, his aunt, disappeared.
“When she was here, she made my life happier. She did fun things with us. I used to spend the night with her and stuff, but now I can’t do it no more because she’s gone and stuff and it makes me sad,” said Spears’ 10-year-old nephew. “She was a good person and she would never walk away from us like that.”
Ebonee’s daughter, Aniya, had to navigate her teen years without her mother; She was just 13 years old when Spears first went missing.
“That’s the hardest thing is watching her daughter grow up and become a young woman and her mom is not here. This age is an important time...a girl needs her mom,” said Rivers. “I don’t think she would just take off and walk off and leave her daughter. No, she would not do that. It was her and Aniya, she loved Aniya.”
“Someone in this community knows something that can help his case, end this nightmare for the family, and I just beg you come forward. The time is now,” said Monica Caison, founder of the CUE center.
Until someone comes forward with more details, the family will work with WPD and CUE to continue to tell her story and mark each birthday and anniversary until she’s found.
“Keep praying, keep hoping, keep watching and keep listening. You just never know, one sentence might could be that sentence that detectives, that the police department needs for a lead,” added Rivers.
Anyone with any information in this case is asked to call WPD at (910) 763-3888 or 1-800-531-9845, or call the CUE center at (910) 232-1687. Callers can remain anonymous.