A Charlotte foundation has pledged $5,000 for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Nikki McPhatter’s disappearance, plus $1,000 for information that leads police to her whereabouts.
The reward was announced today by the Kristen Foundation for Missing Adults, which raises money to help families of those age 18 and older who have gone missing.
McPhatter, 30, who lives in Charlotte, was last heard from on May 6 when she phoned a friend from Columbia to say her car had run out of gas. Hours later, two men were seen photographed by a surveillance camera as they tried to use her ATM card at a Wachovia bank branch on Farrow Road in Columbia.
McPhatter is a flight attendant for U.S. Airways.
Police in both cities are investigating, and the Charlotte police department, suspecting foul play, has turned the case over to its homicide unit.
At a press conference today in Charlotte’s Frazier Park on Fourth Street, which is dedicated to missing children, three of McPhatter’s friends said they would keep pressing until she is found.
The Kristen Foundation also gave an undisclosed amount of money to help erect a billboard in Charlotte, probably along Interstate 77, that will bear a picture of McPhatter. An anonymous Connecticut donor will help erect a second billboard in Columbia.
“We know there is somebody out there who knows something,” said Fran Eddings, a US Airways employee and friend of McPhatter. “Please be responsible and step up to the plate and tell us where she is.”
Joan Scanlon-Petruski, founder and director of the Kristen Foundation, said she hopes the reward will spur someone with information to come forward.
“Somebody knows something,” she said. “Sometimes it just takes a little incentive. Bring her home.”
Investigators in Columbia and Charlotte have responded to numerous tips from people claiming to have seen McPhatter’s car, a black 2003 Honda Accord with the N.C. license tag “PHATTAH.”