Police in North Carolina are asking the public for help locating a car believed linked to a missing female couple. Stephanie Mayorga, 27, and Paige Escalera, 25, were reported missing to Wilmington, N.C., police April 15. The couple had announced their engagement via Facebook in March.
“Both family members and authorities believe the couple’s disappearance is suspicious and that’s why they’re working closely with law enforcement agencies across North and South Carolina in hopes of finding the two women,” the Wilmington Police Department said in a statement.
Police are looking for Escalera’s gray 2013 Dodge Dart with a South Carolina license plate MVS-902, similar to the car pictured above.
Escalera’s roommate notified police after not seeing the couple for three days. The pair did not appear to expect an extended outing, as they had left behind Mayorga’s pet dog and other personal belongings. The investigation, however, was hampered from the beginning. The roommate did not know either of the missing women well and did not even know their last names. She turned in a phone belonging to her missing roommate, but Escalera’s sister Stevie Jenkins said in a Facebook post that police initially took little action. The roommate was eventually able to locate Mayorga’s last name and notify her family.
The case has since drawn widespread attention due to the efforts of friends and family. A Facebook post from Escalera’s aunt Rachel Escalera provided pictures of the pair and her niece’s distinctive tattoos.
Jenkins was the first to sound the alarm publicly about her missing sister. “If anyone has any info… no matter what it is… PLEASE reach out” she implored on Facebook.
Mayorga studied neuroscience at University of North Carolina at Wilmington but had been selling watches via Facebook recently. Police are exploring the possibility the case may be related to a potential sale that went wrong.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3609.