Deborah Leigh Key
Missing since December 1, 1997 from Carrboro, Orange County, North Carolina
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Debbie Key was last seen as she was leaving a local bar in Carrboro, North Carolina on December 1, 1997.
A regular at the now defunct bar, Sticks and Stones, Key had been at the bar when a suspect in the case walked in shortly before closing. Key was last seen with the suspect in the bar parking lot. No one has seen her since.
Two days after her disappearance, Key's car was found, still parked in the same lot. Her door was unlocked. Her purse and jacket lay on the front seat.
Police processed Debbie’s car as a crime scene. But when they received the car it seemed that the car had been detailed. The possibility of gathering physical evidence had been lost.
In 2004, the suspect confessed to Debbie's strangulation, but his statements were later thrown out in court due to the circumstances under which they were obtained. He stated that he brought her body to Wilmington and put her in a Dumpster.
Debbie was single and lived with her mother in Chapel Hill. She loved animals and children. She earned most of her money from babysitting jobs around town, and lived a nomadic lifestyle.
Investigators Carrboro Police Department
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
LT John Lau
Carrboro Police Department
Agency Case Number: 97-10843
NCIC Number: M-085024830 Source Information:
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
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