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Missing Carolyn Elizabeth Lawson
Lawson, circa 1991; Jerry Bland; Jerry McPherson
Missing Since 09/11/1991
Classification Endangered Missing
Age 25 years old
Height and Weight 5'6, 140 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description A red t-shirt, green khaki shorts, white socks and size 9 white Reebok sneakers.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Lawson wears eyeglasses. Her maiden name is Smith. Her nickname is Carrie and most accounts refer to her by that name.
Details of Disappearance During the early morning hours of September 11, 1991, Lawson received a telephone call from a woman claiming to be a nurse at a nearby hospital. The caller told Lawson that a relative was in the hospital seriously injured. Lawson and her husband went outside to go to the hospital and a masked assailant met them in the yard.
The attacker, who was armed with a gun, forced Lawson to tie up her husband of two years. The man then abducted Lawson and drove away with her in her own four-wheel-drive 1991 Ford Explorer. She has never been seen again. The vehicle was found over a week later in the woods in Winston County, Alabama.
Lawson called her husband the next morning. A $300,000 ransom was demanded for her safe return. Her loved ones dropped the money into a dark culvert as specified in the ransom demand. The money was picked up on September 13, two days after Lawson's abduction, but she was not released and she has never been heard from again.
Lawson was apparently chosen at random by her abductors and the sole motive for the crime was money. Her parents hired a private detective to investigate her abduction and they believe a third individual was involved in the kidnapping.
Many investigators believe Lawson's remains are buried in an abandoned coal mine between Jasper and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Bland was a coal mining executive and had business connections in those areas.
Lawson is originally from Cleveland, Tennessee and is a graduate of Cleveland High School. She graduated from the University of Alabama's law school just prior to her disappearance, passed the bar exam and obtained a job with a Jasper law firm.
She was declared legally dead in 1993 and her husband has remarried, but her body was never found in spite of a substantial reward offered for its recovery.
Investigating Agency / Department