RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — While Raleigh police Sgt. Pennica flips through a case file, pictures of a 30-year-old mother and wife are visible along with a few old newspaper clippings.
It is all that is left of Laurie Anne White.
“She was trying to save money for her daughter’s braces,” Pennica with Raleigh police told CBS 17’s Angela Taylor.
White worked two jobs.
She had just finished a shift at a dry-cleaning business on Wilmington Street and up the road was her second job.
“Her husband had picked her up. They only had one car, so he brought her here to work,” said Pennica.
She was a gas station attendant for the overnight shift, 11 at night until 7 the following morning.
What is now an Exxon was a Crown Gas Station back in 1989.
It was around 3:15 a.m. on Aug. 19, 1989, when a customer pulled up to a gas pump.
Back then, you had to go inside to pay.
According to Pennica, “A customer, a would-be customer, stopped here at the gas station to fill up with gas and there was no gas attendant inside.”
Police said it did not look like a robbery.
The doors were unlocked, Whit’s purse was still behind the counter, and the cash register drawer was closed.
“He drove down the road to another gas station on Highway 401 and saw some deputies, talked to some Wake County deputies. He alerted them to what was going on here,” said Pennica.
Raleigh police put up crime scene tape and closed off the area. Detectives searched for evidence that would help them find White, but in 1989 there was not a lot to go on.
Angela Taylor asked, “No surveillance cameras?” “No, cameras,” said Pennica.
There were also no witnesses.
However, a single drop of blood was found on the door that did not match White’s.
Unfortunately, even with updated DNA technology, no match has been found.
For six weeks, police had nothing.
Then on Oct. 4, 1989, her body was found off N.C. 42 in Clayton.
She was still in her Crown Gas Station uniform.
The medical examiner determined White had been strangled.
She was still wearing her jewelry from the early morning she was kidnapped, according to Raleigh police.
White’s husband was cleared as a suspect.
In 1989, the then governor offered a $5,000 reward that leads to an arrest and conviction.
That reward still stands today.
Call Raleigh Crimestoppers at 919-834-4357 if you know anything about the crime.