Chesterfield disappearance still unsolved after 16 years

Published: Dec. 27, 2012 at 3:35 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2013 at 3:41 AM EST
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Linda Lunsford
Linda Lunsford

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A woman who disappeared from the Village Marketplace Shopping Center in Chesterfield 16 years ago remains missing.

Linda Lunsford, 38, was never found and her family's suffering has never ended. Lunsford's five children have since given her 11 grandchildren, none of whom she's ever seen.

Yet, this Lunsford's family says they'll never stop searching for answers, even though they believe she has no chance of being found alive.

"We're still not going to give up on finding her," said Kathy Rose, Lunsford's younger sister.

Rose stood next to Gloria Wright, another sister, in the parking spot where Lunsford's car was found in 1996.

Chesterfield police say Linda Lunsford's case is still open. Her sisters believe Lunsford's ex-boyfriend knows the truth. They say the pair met at the McDonald's at the shopping center to talk the day after Christmas. Both had just finished a shift working at a nearby Walmart.

Later on, Lunsford's car was found locked and abandoned in the parking space. However, Rose says this wasn't the last place she was seen. She maintains that Lunsford went back to her ex-boyfriend's home.

"His kids saw her that day at his house," said Rose. "And then, she disappeared."

The sisters say investigators found evidence that Lunsford's ex-boyfriend bought lighter fluid and trash bags, days before. He denies any involvement. Police had interviewed the man, but never charged him.

A decade after Lunsford's disappearance in 2006 investigators undertook a dig in Amelia. It was believed Lunsford may have been buried there. However, the excavation turned up nothing.

"I want to know where my sister is so I can give her a proper burial," said Rose, through tears.

The sisters continue urging police to investigate the case, and to question the ex-boyfriend's now-grown children, the ones who they believe saw Linda at his home, that day in 1996.

"That's my biggest point now, interview the kids. They're older. They may know more," continued Rose.

Lunsford's family asks that if anybody knows anything about her case, to call Chesterfield Police. You can also contact Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660, or text a tip to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S). Type "TIP699" in the message field before writing your tip.

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