Missing woman’s body found

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 01:30 AM

The body of Deborah Russell Lovelace, who was reported missing Monday, has apparently been located.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Division located the body of Lovelace in a wooded area off Flat Rock Road in the Chase community. Her body was found at about 2:30 p.m. Friday.

The body will be sent for an autopsy at the N.C. State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death and exact identity.

Sheriff Chris Francis said the body was located in the same general area of the search conducted most of Thursday.

“It was such a vast area there,” he said.”But it’s the area where we thought she could be,” Francis said. He said her body was found in the same area near the place where her husband Ryan Heath Lovelace’s body was discovered at 12 p.m. Tuesday. He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Officers were alerted at about 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7 that there was foul play regarding her disappearance. A family member apparently contacted an off duty officer to say something was happening with the family. The search has been ongoing since Monday.

Lovelace’s son, Phillip Bradley, 29, was notified of her disappearance Monday and arrived in Forest City Tuesday morning from his Salisbury home.

Bradley said during a telephone conversation early Friday morning, that the last spoke with his mother was on Jan. 1.

He made an emotional appeal for the county to pull together and try to find his mother.

Francis publicly thanks all agencies involved involved in the search for Lovelace.

Francis wished to thank all of his deputies, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Rutherford County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Hollifield, Ellenboro Fire Department, N.C. Highway Patrol Air Helicopter Unit, Cherokee County Sheriff Office Canine Unit, Orville, Becky and Nancy with Southern Pride Search and Rescue Dogs.

The investigation is still ongoing, Francis said.