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Missing man not involved in drugs

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NASHVILLE — Authorities say a missing Wilson man last seen in southern Nash County 16 years ago wasn’t involved in the local drug scene.

Travis Lamont Lynch, 21, vanished on Christmas Eve 2003.

The Charley Project, an online clearinghouse of missing person cases, listed Travis’ story several years ago. Until recently, the entry included a sentence that Travis “may have been involved in drugs at the time of his disappearance and drugs may be a factor in his case.”

Maj. Miste Strickland of the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said investigators don’t believe Travis was mixed up in selling narcotics.

“We have no information that Travis was involved in drugs or that drugs played any part in his disappearance,” Strickland said.

Meaghan Good, administrator of the Charley Project, told this newspaper in mid-March that she removed the information about Travis and drugs from her website.

“The Travis Lynch case file was originally posted years ago and I’m afraid I don’t specifically remember where I got that bit of info, but if the police say it’s not true, then it probably isn’t,” Good said. “I will remove it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.”

WNCN, a Raleigh-based television station, ran a news story about Travis in January. The story included information that Travis may have been involved in drugs.

Travis’ mother Jackie Lynch contacted the station, questioning the report’s validity. The information was removed from the station’s website the next day.

Strickland said that Travis was no angel, but he was an ordinary young man.

“I’m not saying he never tried drugs,” Strickland said. “And he definitely hung out with a questionable crowd. He was at Twilight. Jesus knows everyone in that club was questionable.”

Patrons knew the now-shuttered Bailey nightclub under several names over the years, including the Twilight Zone and Bananas. Authorities were well acquainted with the spot, the location of shootings, stabbings, illicit drugs and even human trafficking.

Travis spent time at the club the night he disappeared.

Deputies have confirmed that Sean Whitley is a person of interest is Travis’ disappearance. At the time, Whitely lived in a mobile home on property adjacent to the nightclub on Stoney Hill Church Road. The mobile home burned down under suspicious circumstances four months after Travis was last seen alive.

Whitley — the uncle of Travis’ girlfriend — has been serving time in federal prison on drug convictions since 2005.

One investigative theory pursued by homicide detectives is that Travis and his girlfriend, Carlisha Whitley, were involved in an altercation, and his death and disposal was some sort of retaliation by her family.

Anyone with knowledge about the whereabouts of Travis’ body can call Maj. Miste Strickland at 252-532-4574. There’s a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.

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