Deputies investigating leads after missing Union County woman found dead

Alison Thomas had been missing since Feb. 13 before she was found dead last week.
Investigators are working to learn who is responsible for the death of a missing Union County woman.
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:23 PM EDT
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OAKBORO, N.C. (WBTV) - New information has been released in the case of 37-year-old Alison Thomas, who had been missing since mid-February before she was found dead last week.

Thomas’ remains were found in a national forest in Jackson County on March 6. Officials have since conducted an autopsy to confirm the body’s identity, and have ruled her death a homicide.

Up to this point though, there have been no arrests despite the family’s plea for closure.

Before investigators found Thomas’ body, the community joined together in hopes of finding her. Missing posters peppered the town of Oakboro and search parties formed.

In the time since, the posters have been taken down and the town’s residents have had their fears come true.

“It’s very sad,” Oakboro resident Don Howell said. “I hate that the outcome came the way it did...things that like that just don’t happen around here.”

Thomas disappeared from an area close to Marshville around Feb. 13, and was never seen by the public again.

“It’s been really, really the hardest thing we’ve ever had to deal with ever,” her aunt, Sylvia Lowder, said.

Despite no arrests at this point, investigators said they have some leads in the case.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office has been pooling resources with their counterparts in Jackson County in hopes of turning those leads into arrests.

“We’re making progress, but we’re still now ready to move ahead with an arrest,” Tony Underwood of the UCSO said.

While they wait for what has been an emotionally taxing case to come to a close, family members are working to plan a celebration of life for Thomas next week in Winston-Salem.

A reward of up to $5,000 remains available for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

Related: Group gathers to search for missing Union County woman