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Missing man’s family seeks justice after 'long, hard road'

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RED OAK — Relatives of a Wilson man missing for more than a decade have endured many sleepless nights. Now they hope the people responsible for his disappearance are having trouble resting.

Travis Lamont Lynch, 21, vanished without a trace from southern Nash County on Christmas Eve 2003.

Gathered together Friday at Joe Lynch’s home in Red Oak, the family reminisced about Travis and pleaded for someone to come forward with information to close his unsolved case.

Joe Lynch, who is Travis’ uncle and a retired state trooper, said his family has been through so much heartache since Travis disappeared.

“You just can’t imagine the pain someone goes through losing a child and they know what happened to them, but then you put on top the mystery of one who’s missing and presumed to be deceased, but you don’t know what happened to them,” Joe said, adding that rumors surface from time to time, but nothing has been confirmed.

Authorities have suspects, but no one except the people involved know exactly what happened to Travis, Joe said, thanking the Nash County Sheriff’s Office for its hard work on his nephew’s case.

“It’s been a long, hard road,” Joe said, saying detectives have shown diligence throughout the long years.

Diligence is one of three core values Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone insists his deputies live by, along with compassion and honor.

Joe Lynch said someone needs to find the courage to come forward. Or, he hopes perpetrators’ emotions get to them and they have to unburden their guilty conscience.

Travis’ mother Jackie Lynch said she misses her only son.

She said she enjoys her daughter and her son who looks so much like a young Travis, but she wishes Travis wasn’t gone.

Travis’ sister Rynika Lynch began to cry when discussing her brother. Her son, Tristan, tried to comfort his mother.

Rynika was 13 when Travis disappeared. She hasn’t been able to talk publicly about her pain.

Detectives with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office have named two suspects in Travis’ disappearance and probable death: His girlfriend Carlisha Whitley and her uncle Sean Whitley, who is serving a federal prison sentence on drug trafficking convictions.

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

Parts of the interview with Travis Lynch's family will be featured in the July 23 episode of “The Kay Files” on WHIG-TV.