SURRY COUNTY, N.C. (WFMY) — Families in Surry County say there’s a disturbing trend of people vanishing without a trace and they want answers.
Michael Martin, Sarah Hill, Jessica Stanley and James Huff are four who family members say are either missing, or their deaths are being investigated.
The families have had enough.
“She’s had a birthday. We didn’t get to celebrate her birthday. She’s turned 34 since she’s been missing,” said April Cain, about her missing sister, Sarah Hill.
Birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases. Just a few of the things several families in Surry County are going through this year without loved ones.
All Michael Martin’s mom wanted this year for Christmas was hope.
“Give me some hope before Christmas,” Cynthia Martin pleaded.
Hope can be hard to find, though. Michael Martin has been missing since August, and was last seen on Interstate 77 near Exit 100.
Sarah Hill has been missing since June. She was last seen on Blue Hollow Road in Mount Airy.
Another woman from Surry County, Jessica Stanley, was found dead in Virginia on Aug. 23, 2018.
“Things aren’t safe. We’re Mayberry, this is Mayberry. We shouldn’t have this many missing people,” said Amber Thomas, Martin’s ex-wife.
These families want a change.
On Monday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., families of the missing and others gathered at the Surry County Sheriff’s Office to demand action and answers.
“It’ll put a fire under them to get started to do something. I’ve not hear from the detective in a month,” said Cynthia Martin.
Although hope is hard to find these families dig deep every day and find a glimmer. Sometimes, in the smallest form.
“I have a picture of her and even this week I found a pair of earrings that she would love and she would look so good in. I put those earrings in front of her picture knowing that, hoping — and feeling confident that she’s going to come back to us and she can wear those earrings,” said Thelma Pack, Sarah Hill’s mother.
We did reach out to the sheriff multiple times and didn’t hear back.
It is important to know the sheriff is newly elected and the families hope that means he’ll bring a fresh set of eyes to the investigations.