'Just remember Barbara': Search group of friends organizes tribute for missing Sumter woman Barbara Nave

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 2/7/19

Calling themselves Finding Barbara Nave Group, friends of Barbara Nave hope to keep interest burning about her disappearance after two years of searching with a tribute on Saturday.

Maria Rodgers and Kathleen Kreklau ask that the public come …

This item is available in full to subscribers

'Just remember Barbara': Search group of friends organizes tribute for missing Sumter woman Barbara Nave

Posted

Calling themselves Finding Barbara Nave Group, friends of Barbara Nave hope to keep interest burning about her disappearance after two years of searching with a tribute on Saturday.

Maria Rodgers and Kathleen Kreklau ask that the public come together to talk about and remember their friend Barbara from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at J&L Diner, 2114 U.S. 521 South.

"This is not a memorial," Rodgers said.

The two women said Saturday's event is meant to keep Barbara in the public's eye as well as honor their long-time friend.

"Just remember Barbara," Kreklau said.

She and Rodgers said the event will also be a moment to think of other South Carolina residents who have gone missing.

This is an opportunity for the voiceless to be heard, Kreklau said.

The focus of the event will be on bringing together people who have been involved in searching for Barbara, Rodgers said.

""We're all just trying to learn all we can about the time leading up to her vanishing," she said.

Rodgers said the group is also in the process of setting up a website and fundraiser to receive pledges for a reward for information that leads to Barbara.

The gathering will feature prayer, recitation of a poem written by Rodgers, the presentation of information that can help others in the search for the missing and a hot bar that will be available at cost.

Also, Rodgers said, another friend has renewed Barbara's vehicle and will reveal it at the event. The vehicle will be taken to car shows so people can remember or think about Barbara and other missing people, she said.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Barbara - 80 years old at the time - was last seen by her family on Feb. 4, 2017, when she left her son's house in Savannah, Georgia, after celebrating her birthday.

Her son, Paul Nave, said he last heard from his mother on Feb. 9, the same day she also sent an email to a friend and talked to a contractor, according to Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

Paul said one of Barbara's friends went to the house and noticed the front door open and Barbara's purse inside.

Money and cards were still inside her purse and nothing in the house seemed to be disturbed, according to county authorities.

She would not leave her purse at home, Paul said, unless she went on a walk. He said she also would have taken her two dogs with her, but they were also at the house.

Paul said he did not suspect his mother had dementia nor Alzheimer's disease because she was working on her doctorate degree at the time.

DEALING WITH THE LOSS OF A FRIEND

"I was devastated," Kreklau said about Barbara's disappearance. "I don't know what to do."

Kreklau and Nave met about 2000 through a mutual friend when Nave was searching for a dog-sitter.

Since 2017, Kreklau has wanted to keep Barbara's case in the public eye.

Rodgers, who met Barbara about 20 years ago at a sign language class, said she hopes the event on Saturday will reignite interest in Barbara's disappearance.

"It was a total shock when she went missing," she said.

How and what happened remain a mystery, she said.

WHO IS BARBARA?

Barbara is a super friend, Kreklau said. She is a free spirit and a non-judgmental person, she said.

She is very interested in art, she said, and was quite the artist herself.

Barbara is a feisty and adventurous person who loved her Lhasa Apsos, Rodgers said. She used to breed and train dogs, she said, and showed her dogs at American Kennel Club shows.

She is also a traveler who raised her children in Spain, she said.

Barbara taught English and acculturation to managers at Continental Tire the Americas who came from overseas, Rodgers said, and she was still working at the time she went missing.

Rodgers and Kreklau both said Barbara is also an advocate for children, women, the disabled and animals.

HAVE YOU SEEN BARBARA NAVE?

Barbara is 5 feet 4 inches tall, 82 years old, weighs about 140 pounds and has gray hair and hazel eyes. Nave is also deaf and wears a Cochlear implant.

If you have information, call Sumter County Sheriff's Office at (803) 436-2000 Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CRIME-SC. Tips can also be submitted anonymously online by going to www.P3tips.com and clicking the "Submit a New Tip" tab or by downloading the P3 Tips app on a smart device.