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Investigators have leads in cold-case disappearance

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NASHVILLE — New tips are heating up the cold-case disappearance of a Wilson man last seen in southern Nash County more than a decade ago.

Travis Lamont Lynch, 21, vanished under suspicious circumstances on Christmas Eve 2003.

“It’s not a cold case; I’d say it’s lukewarm and getting hotter,” said Maj. Miste Strickland of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

Strickland has been receiving a lot of tips lately that she said are starting to coalesce into a single narrative of what happened the night Travis vanished.

“There are interesting tips coming in,” Strickland said. “The tips are starting to feed off each other.”

Strickland said she’s freed up her calendar to spend more time on Travis’ case.

“I’m really digging deep now,” Strickland said.

Detectives have recently developed leads that involve out-of-state agencies.

Travis’ girlfriend, Carlisha Whitley of Middlesex, has been a suspect for years. She told this newspaper recently that passed a polygraph test.

When asked about Whitley’s possible involvement in the case, detectives said no one can be ruled out.

Detectives have also named Whitley’s uncle, Sean Fontae Whitley, as a strong person of interest. His mobile home burned down in suspicious fires four months after Travis disappeared. The mobile home is next to the Twilight, a now-shuttered nightclub near Bailey. Investigators believe Travis spent some of his last few hours on earth at Twilight.

Sean Whitley is serving time at the federal prison in Butner for drug trafficking convictions.

Anyone with information about Travis’ disappearance is asked to call Nash County sheriff’s Maj. Miste Strickland at 252-532-4574. A reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.