SUMTER, SC (WIS) - It’s been two years since Barbara Nave was seen by friends and family and what happened to her is still a mystery.
A tribute was held at J & L restaurant in Sumter Saturday afternoon to honor her and search for new leads.
Nave was last seen by family in Savannah Georgia on February 4, 2017, just a day before the Super Bowl.
She was there visiting family members, along with celebrating her 80th birthday.
“She’d email me before she was going to Savannah and I didn’t hear back from her,” Kathleen Kreklau, Nave’s friend said. “Let a day or two go by emailed her again and no answer.”
Kreklau said Nave’s form of communication is through email, and when Nave didn’t reply, “I just had a gut feeling something was wrong.”
From there, she went straight to Nave’s house and found her car in the driveway, her purse untouched inside her Sumter County home, and her dogs inside the house.
“She wouldn’t have left her dogs and, if she were going somewhere, she would have taken her purse,” Kreklau said. “That’s why it was just so puzzling. What was going on?”
Two years have passed and no answers have surfaced, but friends said Nave will never be forgotten.
Her friends created a group called ‘Finding Barbara Nave’, which meets once a month.
“We formed the group back in September of 2018 and we’ve been supporting law enforcement and all their efforts and do that background check for them,” Kreklau said. “We meet once a month and go over any interviews we had with neighbors recently, or any encounters we have with anybody who had a story about Nave, we contact the family for added information.”
Nave’s memories continue to be brought to life. Phyllis Dickason, another one of Nave’s friends took Nave’s car and restored it.
“To bring it back to life in Barbara’s memory and that’s what this is all about,” Dickason said.
While friends continue to keep Nave’s memory alive, the Sumter County Sheriff’s office wants your leads.
“I’m looking for any kind of tips doesn’t matter how big or small those tips are,” Investigator Charles Bonner with the Sumter County Sheriff’s office said. “Any kind of information that’ll point me in the direction to look I’ll do it.”
“We owe it to Barbara and the family and we’d like some closure,” Kreklau said.
Investigator Bonner said they have not found any foul play at this time. He adds they have received some tips, but recently it has slowed down.
The case remains as an active investigation. If you know anything, contact Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME- SC or visit www.midlandscrimestoppers.com or www.p3tips.com and click on the “submit a tip” tab. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.