A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Recent case gives hope to missing man’s family

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The recent discovery of a missing woman’s body has given hope to the family of a man who’s been missing for more than a decade.

Travis Lamont Lynch vanished on Christmas Eve 2003.

His mother Jackie Lynch said she accepted long ago that her son is dead.

“I want something of him back,” Jackie Lynch said. “We don’t even have anything to bury.”

Over the years, she’s stayed in close contact with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office detectives investigating her son’s case.

It’s been 16 years since Jackie Lynch last saw her son. He was last seen alive in southern Nash County.

Jackie Lynch said her heart stopped for a moment in October when she heard the news that a body had been found in southern Nash County.

She simultaneously hoped and feared the body belonged to her son. She soon learned the body wasn’t Travis, but Deborah Elaine Deans.

Deans, 29, disappeared in 2004. The Rocky Mount Police Department investigated the case 15 years ago because a family member reported her disappearance to the city police force at the time she vanished.

After a decade and a half of no movement in the case, a tip to the Fighting Crime News and Who’s Wanted Facebook page broke the case wide open in October.

Within three days of receiving the information, Nash County detectives unearthed Deans’ body from a shallow grave behind a house on Wiley Road near Spring Hope.

Authorities arrested Kimberly Hancock, 49, on a charge of first-degree murder. Hancock was Deans’ sister-in-law and roommate in the Wiley Road home at the time of Deans’ death.

Hancock has been involved in the demise of at least one family member and is the suspect in another case. She killed her father in 1989.

At 18, Hancock shot her father in the face with a .25-caliber pistol while he slept on the family’s sofa. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a six-year suspended sentence since her father had been abusive, according to court records.

Still missing is Hancock’s brother, Roger Wade Ayscue, who has not been seen in a decade. Ayscue disappeared from Castalia in 2009.

Jackie Lynch said she prays every day that a tip will help solve her son’s case.

“I feel like if they can find this woman then one day, they will find my son,” Jackie Lynch said.

Anyone with knowledge about Travis’ whereabouts can call Nash County Sheriff’s Maj. Miste Strickland at 252-532-4574. There’s a $20,000 reward for information in the case.