Missing since: 06/23/91
Missing from: Spring Lake, North Carolina
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: 01/13/84
Age at disappearance: 7
Marks, Scars: Patterson has a freckle at the end of her nose. She has small scars on her right temple and between her eyes.
Clothing: She was last seen wearing a white bathing suit.
Details of Disappearance
Jennifer was reportedly last seen leaving her family’s residence at Holly Hills Mobile Home Park in the 1400 block of north Fort Bragg Boulevard in Spring Lake, North Carolina on June 23, 1991. Jennifer planned to walk to a neighbor’s home at approximately 1:15 p.m. She never arrived at her destination and has not been heard from again. She was reported missing at 6:00 p.m. Extensive searches of the area did not produce any evidence as to her whereabouts.
At the time of her disapperance, Jennifer’s parents were divorced but were still living together. Her father, Alan Patterson, failed a polygraph exam following his daughter’s 1991 disappearance. He was viewed as a possible suspect by law enforcement at the time, and police said there was no evidence that Jennifer ever left her home that day. Alan was involved in a custody dispute over Jennifer at the time of her disappearance, and he was scheduled to take a paternity test. When interviewed by police, he initially said Jennifer had disappeared as a result of the custody dispute and was alive and being cared for. He later maintained that he was speaking hypothetically and did not intend for his statements to be taken as fact. Jennifer’s parents separated and moved away to different states a few months after she disappeared. Her father maintains his innocence in her disappearance, stating he was at work when she went missing.
Authorities now call Alan their prime suspect. They stated that forensic technology that was unavailable in 1991 may help solve Jennifer’s case. They suspect she is deceased. Jennifer’s disappearance remains unsolved. The mobile home park where she lived has now been abandoned.
Age Progression 25 years old
If you have any information concerning Patterson’s whereabouts, please contact:
Spring Lake Police Department
Missing Persons Unit
All information may be submitted on an anonymous basis.
Mar 9, 1998
SPRING LAKE — Investigators in Spring Lake are hoping new technology will help them solve some old cases, including the disappearance of a 7-year-old girl back in 1991.
Despite an intensive search, the likes of which Spring Lake has never seen before or since, young Jennifer Patterson was never found. But police believe the department’s newly created violent crimes and narcotics unit can shed new light on the crime.
The girl’s disappearance brought the community out in force in an effort to find her. Jennifer was wearing a white bathing suit when she was last seen in her back yard in June, 1991. Fort Bragg soldiers joined forces with local police and hundreds of volunteers. They searched for several days, but had no luck.
Detective Tony Hart of Spring Lake Police says he hopes new information will come to light.
Hart says he believes the little girl is dead. He says he hopes that, after all this time, anyone with information won’t hesitate to come forward.
Allen Patterson, the girl’s father, was originally a suspect, and he failed a lie detector test. Police say they plan to interview him again in the near future.
Police say technology has improved so much that it pays to take another look at older, unsolved cases now.
If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tipline (910) 232-1687.
All information submitted to CUE Center For Missing Persons is confidential.