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Suspicious car linked to missing woman

Special to Times-News

WEST POINT — Investigators searching for a missing West Point woman have released information about a “suspicious car” that was reportedly in the area around the time of her disappearance.

“Earlier today, our investigators received information from a person who lives in the area of Lower Lovelace Road that on Friday between the hours of 2 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. he saw a suspicious car in the area,” the Troup County Sheriff’s Office stated in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “This car was described as a two-door, rust-brown Cutlass – possibly a mid-to-late 80’s model – with plane rims and a loud muffler driven by a black male. The witness stated that the car turned on Lower Lovelace Road and was seen leaving at a high rate of speed, running the stop sign, turning left onto Shoemaker Road and that he had never seen this car before.”

Carol Evans, 75, was reported missing from her home on Lower Lovelace Road Friday evening. Her husband said he went outside to mow the lawn around 2 p.m. and that his wife was gone when he came back in. Evans suffers from an “altered mental state,” according to Smith.

Smith said the new information doesn’t change the investigation.

“It doesn’t change any scope of it or anything like that. It’s still listed as a missing person case, so we’re just sharing this information. Just the fact that this vehicle was seen on the road at about or around the time she went missing,” Smith said. “Nobody is saying that the car or the driver took her or anything like that. This is just some information we felt we needed to share.”

Smith said it’s always been possible Evans was picked up by a car.

“Right now, we’ve not been able to find her in the general search area that we believe she would have walked to, and like we said initially either on Saturday or Sunday that it was never out of the case or never out of the realm of possibilities that somebody picked her up not criminally, just that she flagged somebody down or somebody stopped for assistance and she told them that she needed a ride,” he said. “That’s always been in the picture, and we’ve shared that early on in this investigation.”

Smith said the search for the 75-year-old woman has been about half a mile to a mile from her house.

“Our radius was from the house about a half a mile to a mile radius from the house. Then on Sunday we went back to the house and made an even tighter 200-yard radius and just searched really heavily again,” he said.

Smith said searching for Evans has been frustrating for investigators.

“It’s very frustrating because we want closure just like the family does. We want to know where she’s at,” he said. “Through this time, we’ve gotten to know the family and spoken to them, and so we want closure for us and for them.”

Authorities are also seeking to find anybody that may have possibly given Evans a ride from the area thinking they were assisting her.

Smith said K-9 searches were unsuccessful for the third consecutive day Wednesday and authorities are not reassessing the investigation.

“(The dogs) ran the best they could and we didn’t have any success,” Smith said. “We’re reassessing now and looking at how we are going to move forward.”

Anyone with any information on Evans’ whereabouts or about a car that matches the description of the Cutlass seen in the area at the time of the disappearance is urged to call the Troup County Sheriff’s Office at 706-883-1616 or Crime Stoppers at 706-812-1000.