On June 5 the governor signed a proclamation offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible for her disappearance.
It is believed, the proclamation says, Stansbury is deceased.
(Anyone with information is encouraged to call Jackson at 252-326-3938 or Vaught at 252-578-4049)
While the proclamation does mention that a person matching her description was seen in the Highway 903-Thelma Road area covered in blood and running away on the evening of December 22, 2006, law enforcement no longer believes that is a viable lead in the case, said Lieutenant Charles Vaught of the police department. He declined to elaborate.
Roanoke Rapids Chief Chuck Hasty is hopeful the offering of a reward in the case may generate new leads. “We requested the reward to see of we can generate new leads and get some closure in this case.”
Hasty received word Tuesday via postal service the proclamation was signed by the governor.
“Any time you have an annoucement of reward money, it can draw out witnesses, even reluctant witnesses and can help produce three or four tips that are instrumental in helping to solve a case,” said Deputy Chief Andy Jackson, who has done extensive work on the case in the past. “People are sometimes too fearful to come forward. Sometimes the need of money outweighs the fear.”
The last time Stansbury was seen or heard from was on December 7, 2006. “She would call her mother every day no matter the circumstance,” Jackson said. “I was able to verify she was actually alive and breathing on Saturday, the ninth of December (2006).”
Since then, Stansbury has not been seen or heard from. Her social security number has not been used and there have been no encounters with law enforcement. These factors, Jackson said, lead investigators to believe something sinister has happened to her. “It's real important you put incentives out there. The family has been in pain for years now and wants some closure. They want to know what happened to Shonda. We ask people to put themselves in the Stansbuty family's shoes and imagine what it would be like to have a child disappear and you don't know what happened. No one just disappears off the face of the earth.”
Vaught, who has been assigned the lead in the investigation said of the governor's proclamation, “We're thankful and we're hoping this can convince people to come forward and lead us to the whereabouts of Shonda Stansbury. At this point we just have to find the person or persons that have information on Shonda. Someone knows what happened to her. It gives me hope that it will encourage people to come forward and tell us what they know.”