It has been four years since Barbara Nave was last seen or heard from.
The Sumter County resident was last seen by her family leaving her son's house in Savannah, Georgia, on Feb. 4, 2017, where she celebrated her 82nd birthday. She was last heard from five days later in Sumter.
Her vehicle and purse were found at her residence off U.S. 521, according to the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. There was no sign of disturbance inside the home.
To date, Nave's friends continue searching for her.
"We owe it to Barbara as a friend to know what happened and where her final resting place is," said Kathleen Kreklau, the friend who reported her missing.
Based on Nave's age and when she went missing, Kreklau presumes her friend of more than 20 years is most likely deceased. She coped with that conclusion a couple years ago but still wants closure.
Kreklau said Nave lived alone, was deaf and had a Cochlear implant, but she had no disorders that would have prevented her from finding her way home. That's why she doesn't think Nave would just up and leave without a trace.
"I think when someone goes missing, it's hard for others to relate to," Kreklau said. "It propels you into action. It propels you to be more determined to find out. It just leaves you with a restless soul."
Nave has no family in South Carolina, which is why Kreklau and many other friends of Nave continue to search no matter how long it takes.
"There is no one to speak for her here," Kreklau said. "Being a part of this for four years, it is frightening."
Nave is 5 feet 4 inches and weighs about 140 pounds. She has gray hair and hazel eyes.
"It seems that we've had an influx of missing persons cases [more] recently than in the past," said Lt. Darlene Dellinger, investigations supervisor at the sheriff's office. "The circumstances surrounding each of these investigations is different, and we use a variety and combination of resources depending on those circumstances. Some factors that determine which resources we use include the age of the missing person, the location where they were last seen, their mental health status and the witnesses."
Regardless of the length of a person's disappearance, law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the cases.
"A missing persons case may be cold, but it would never be deemed solved unless the missing person is located," Dellinger said. "We continue to work any viable leads and tips from the community that come in on older cases."
There are still many Sumter residents who remain to be found. The Sumter Police Department and the Sumter County Sheriff's Office provided to The Sumter Item information on Sumter's open missing person cases.
Anyone with information is asked to call the police department at (803) 436-2700, the sheriff's office at (803) 436-2000 or (803) 436-2014 or Crime Stoppers, where you can leave an anonymous tip, at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
Age at time: 36
Height: 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: About 110 pounds
Distinguishing features: She has light brown hair and green eyes.
Last seen: In the Red Bay Road area on May 31, 2017. She was last seen on Facebook on June 8, 2017. She was reported missing Nov. 18, 2017. Her family said she could have left the area on foot.
Department handling case: Sumter County Sheriff's Office
Tommy Lee Brailey
Age at time: 52
Height: 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches
Weight: About 165-180 pounds
Distinguishing features: He has black hair and brown eyes.
Last seen: Aug. 24, 2017, after leaving a Wesmark Boulevard nightclub. Brailey was driving a silver 2004 BMW 325i with SC tag LYB406 and a Pittsburgh Steelers chrome plate on the front. He was wearing a polo shirt with horizontal blue-and-white stripes and dark pants, possibly blue jeans.
Department handling the case: Sumter Police Department
Barbara Ellen Brunson
Age at time: 66
Height: 5 feet 5 inches
Weight: About 140 pounds
Distinguishing features: She has black hair and brown eyes.
Last seen: Aug. 4, 2008, after walking off from an assisted living facility. She was last seen wearing a brown and red shirt, blue jeans, black shoes, purple scarf and red socks.
Height: 5 feet 1 inch
Weight: 130 pounds
Distinguishing features: She has dark hair and brown eyes.
Last seen: On March 4, 2015, near U.S. 15 South and Country Springs Drive.
Jackson Brent Garcia
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Weight: 170 pounds
Distinguishing features: He has brown hair and hazel eyes
Last seen: On Dec. 26, 2020, at a relative's house on Ithica Drive. He was wearing light-gray sweatpants, black and white sneakers and a dark-colored jacket. He has a history of mental illness and was not taking medication at the time he was last seen.
Brandon Rodriguez Graves
Age at time: 24
Weight: 160 pounds
Distinguishing features: He has dark hair and brown eyes.
Last seen: Brandon was last seen on the night of February 1, 2010, at Sebastian's Night Club at 3289 block of Broad Street Extension. He was last seen wearing black jeans and a blue shirt.
Willie John Ham, also known as Peter Jones
Age at time: 50
Height: 5 feet 9 inches
Weight: About 210 pounds
Distinguishing features: He is bald and has brown eyes.
Last seen: On Feb. 7, 2010, wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket and tennis shoes.
James Reginald Harley
Age at time: 39
Weight: 140 pounds
Last seen: James was last seen walking away after a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 521 on the morning of January 12, 2008.
Willie Manley Hodge Jr.
Age at time: 37
Height: 5 feet 8 inches
Distinguishing features: Brown eyes and brown hair
Last seen: By family on the evening of Jan. 23, 2019, leaving a residence on Island Drive after a verbal altercation with his mother. He was last seen wearing black jeans, a black long-sleeve t-shirt, gray Nike shoes and a gray John Deere toboggan. Hodge was also identified during a traffic stop at the intersection of Pinewood Road and Columbia Circle on Jan. 24, 2019. During the traffic stop, Hodge pulled the vehicle into a driveway on Columbia Circle and fled the area on foot. Hodge's family reported him missing Jan. 30, 2019. His driver's license and cellphone were left inside the vehicle.
Department handling the case: Sumter County Sheriff's Office
Barbara Ann Jenkins
Age at time: 44
Height: 5 feet 4 inches
Weight: About 170 pounds
Distinguishing features: She has dark hair.
Last seen: On Aug. 29, 2013, wearing black jeans and black shirt.
Stacy Renee Lester
Distinguishing features: She has blonde hair and blue eyes.
Last seen: On Aug. 9, 2009, at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital. She was reported missing by a family member on Nov. 2, 2009. She was known to frequent the south Sumter area, specifically in the Red Bay Road and Vaughn Street area.
Age at time: 22
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 260 pounds
Distinguishing features: He has brown hair and green eyes.
Last seen: On the morning of Feb. 2, 2009, at a Sawgrass Court residence.
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