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Deputies: Time could help solve cold case disappearance

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NASHVILLE — Deputies investigating the disappearance of Travis Lynch are hopeful a change in relationship between the people involved might make it easier for them to come forward with information.

“We’ve talked to the players and we’ve talked to the people who have knowledge of what happened,” said Nash County sheriff’s Maj. Miste Strickland.

Travis vanished 16 years ago. Last seen alive with his girlfriend Carlisha Whitley in the Bailey-Middlesex area, Travis, 21 at the time, disappeared on Christmas Eve 2003.

Often the best bet in solving older cases is the change in relationship of the people involved in the case that happens naturally over the years, investigators explained. Couples break up, someone tells a cousin about his or her dark secret or new children enter the world.

“One of the players has a child now,” Strickland said. “They didn’t have children then, but they do now. We’re hoping that lets them see what Travis’ mom is going through.”

Travis’ mother, Jackie Lynch, said she’s never recovered from losing her son.

“The people who did this have killed a part of all of us,” Jackie Lynch said. “I have lost so much. I think about Travis every single day. I don’t have my son. I don’t have any part of him. We’ve never had a funeral because we have nothing to bury”

Disappearing along with Travis was his white 1992 Pontiac Grand Am. The car, with North Carolina license plate RZS-4818, hasn’t been seen since Travis vanished.

Detectives said they have reason to believe Travis’ car and his body were disposed of together. Their search has repeatedly focused on the Gallberry area between Middlesex and Bailey.

Sheriff’s Maj. David Brake said a small circle of people know exactly what happened to Travis and his car. He said he wants those folks to sweat.

Anyone with knowledge about Travis’ whereabouts can call Maj. Miste Strickland at 252-532-4574. There’s a $20,000 reward for information in the case.

Editor’s note: Last week’s entry in this series incorrectly identified the man serving as Nash County sheriff in 2011. The sheriff was Dick Jenkins.

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