GBI still pursuing leads on missing mom

Boyfriend believes she’s still alive

Just because they aren’t on the ground, doesn’t mean the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has given up the search for a missing Blairsville mom.

“We’re still following every lead and looking into intelligence,” GBI spokesman John Bankhead said Thursday.

More than 100 officers spent eight days combing Union County and parts of North Carolina and Tennessee for Kristi Cornwell, who was reportedly abducted Aug. 11. On Wednesday, the GBI called off the ground search.

Cornwell’s boyfriend, Douglas Davis, told police he was on the cellphone with the 38-year-old woman when the abduction occurred.

After days of refusing comment, Davis appeared on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday.

Davis declined to detail the phone conversation, but told NBC’s Ann Curry that he believes Cornwell is still alive.

Cornwell was walking near her parent’s Blairsville home on Aug. 11 when she told Davis that a car was following her. Davis said he then heard a struggle and Cornwell say “Don’t take me.”

On Thursday, Davis urged his girlfriend to hang onto her faith and sent a message to whoever may have abducted her: “Please release her, let her go.”

He told Curry he knew “for a fact that this is an abduction” by Cornwell’s tone and voice.

The GBI said they interviewed Davis, but he is not a suspect.

Investigators said they have no suspects and the only significant piece of evidence found since the reported abduction has been Cornwell’s cellphone. A Blairsville man found the phone while mowing his lawn, which is about 1.5 miles from where Cornwell was last seen.

Investigators are still trying to determine if Cornwell’s attack was random or if she was targeted. They are leaning toward the theory that whoever took Cornwell was from the area.

Bankhead said investigators are confident they will eventually find Cornwell but “we feel that she’s not in that area. We used every resource available to search that area of Union County and didn’t come up with anything.”

Cornwell is the mother of a 15-year-old son and formerly worked as a probation officer. She was studying to be a medical technician, her brother Richard Cornwell said.

Cornwell’s family said they are worried residents will forget about the search as time goes on and are asking the public to print out the woman’s photographs from www.kristicornwell.com.

“When you are out and about doing things, take the pictures and look around. When pumping gas at the gas station, look in the car next to you. Look at restaurants,” said Keith Hogsed, Cornwell’s cousin. “We want people actively looking for her, not just seeing the picture once and saying ‘I didn’t see her.’”

Staff writer Rhonda Cook contributed to this report.