Tue. May 28th, 2024

Meta Price Valentine was last seen in Fayetteville, North Carolina on October 28, 2014. She spoke to her mother on the phone at 10:30 p.m., and her mother said their conversation was strange and that Valentine was talking “in riddles.” That was the last time anyone is known to have spoken to her.

Valentine was the secretary at the Deliverance Praise Church of Worship and spent most of her time at church, and her loved ones realized she was missing after she didn’t attend Bible study. She has never been heard from again.

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Within six weeks, Reginald McDowell was identified as a person of interest in Valentine’s disappearance. He was her sometime boyfriend and the father of one of her three children. There was a history of domestic violence in the relationship. McDowell was convicted of kidnapping Valentine and her then-boyfriend in 1999 and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

He was released in 2011 and resumed his relationship with Valentine, but they broke up less than two weeks before she went missing. A neighbor said McDowell came to Valentine’s home after the breakup, but she refused to let him inside.

McDowell was sighted in a surveillance video at approximately 5:30 p.m. on October 28, running towards Valentine’s apartment building off Old Wilmington Road shortly after she herself had entered the building. He initially cooperated with the investigation, but later stopped talking to the police and left the area. He cut off communication with his Fayetteville relatives, including his and Valentine’s son.

Valentine’s pastor stated she had been very fearful prior to her disappearance. She often asked a fellow church member to accompany her home from church, and would take different routes to avoid detection.

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In March 2018, McDowell was charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree murder in Valentine’s case. He remains at large and authorities aren’t certain of his whereabouts, but he may be in New York. When he is located, he will be arrested and extradited to Fayetteville to stand trial.

Valentine’s body has never been found. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.

Anyone with information regarding the homicide investigation is asked to contact Sergeant M. Ballard with the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 549-7326, or Crimestoppers at (910) 483-TIPS (8477).  Crimestoppers information can also be submitted electronically by visiting http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org and completing the anonymous online tip sheet, or by downloading the FREE “P3 Tips” app available for Apple devices in the Apple App Store and available for Android devices in Google Play.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com

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