The mother of a woman missing since August is pleading for more information from the grandmother who anonymously wrote authorities that she may know who is connected with the Aug. 11 disappearance of Kristi Cornwell.
The sheriff’s office in Cherokee County, N.C., received a letter from someone who wrote that her grandson was working in the area at the time that another woman was hit by a passing car in a suspected kidnapping attempt. The woman wrote in her letter that she believes her grandson was driving a car that was said to have hit the woman in North Carolina, a white Nissan Exterro with a brush guard and Florida plates.
Georgia authorities have said the same person who hit the woman in Ranger, N.C., also may have grabbed Cornwell while she was walking a little-traveled road in Union County in northwest Georgia nine days later and 25 miles away.
Georgia and North Carolina authorities are looking for a white man in his mid-20s with dark hair. They have a sketch of a suspect based on the description by the woman in North Carolina.
Like the woman in North Carolina, Cornwell was walking alone around 9 p.m. when she encountered someone driving an SUV.
Cornwell was on her cell phone talking to her boyfriend, Douglas Davis, when she was approached by the car. Douglas told investigators that Cornwell said an SUV was following her, and then he heard a struggle before the call ended.
The composite sketch along with Jo Ann Cornwell's letter to the anonymous source has been posted on the family's web site.
“I know how hard it would be to implicate your own grandson in such a horrible crime. I am a grandmother, too, and I can certainly understand your love for your grandson and wanting to protect him,” Jo Ann Cornwell wrote. “But I am asking you to put yourself in my shoes, a mother who gave birth to a precious baby girl 39 years ago.”
Jo Ann Cornwell continues to write: “So, I beg you as the grandmother of Kristi’s possible abductor, to rid yourself of the guilt you must be feeling, knowing you may have the information that could lead us to Kristi. Please come forward and end the nightmare our family is going through!”
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.