Friends of missing Charlotte woman look in Columbia

Published: May. 24, 2009 at 8:44 PM EDT|Updated: May. 28, 2009 at 3:22 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Nikki McPhatter disappeared earlier this month, she was last seen in Columbia.
A group all the way from Charlotte came down Sunday to look for some sense of closure and hope 18 days later.

"I really don't want to find anything to be honest with you, I want this to be a trip in vain, but if it does it will bring closure to a lot of hearts," says Fran Eddings.

Closure is all Nikki McPhatter's friends say they want.

Eddings says Nikki was like a daughter. They met at the Charlotte Airport, where they both work for US Airways.

"Nikki was not a person just not to show up for work, she would call," says Eddings.

Akilah Weaver says US Airways called her after Nikki had not been to work in four days. Akilah couldn't get in touch with Nikki, and she knew something had to be wrong. She went to police and filed a missing persons report.

"It is hard for us, we're confused, we're worried, we keep hearing different things about what could have happened, what may have happened, we just don't know, but we're ready to bring this to closure, and we're ready for her to come home," says Weaver.

More than a dozen of Nikki's friends put on gloves, pulled out their walking sticks and went to the woods.

"We can't cover all of Columbia, but we can look in the nooks and crannies and if it turns out she's somewhere else, we'll go there and look, we're not going to stop," says Eddings.

But they do admit they are scared of what they might find.

"And if something has happened to her and there is a guilty person out there, I hope it would lay on their conscience and they would step up and say 'hey I know what happened to Nikki,'" says Weaver.

"But, I'm praying that this is just an exercise," says Eddings.

Right around the corner from where that group was searching, police say two men tried to use McPhatter's ATM card at the Wachovia on Farrow Road.

They say Nikki is driving a 2003 black four-door Honda with a North Carolina tag reading PHATTAH.

If you know anything about her disappearance, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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Reported by Jackie Faye

Posted by Logan Smith