FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A fitness group in Fayetteville hosted a fundraiser Saturday to help the family of Danielle Locklear, the Hope Mills girl who went missing last month.
WTVD-TV reported that the fundraiser was yet another example of how the teen’s disappearance has touched members of her surrounding community.
For fitness fanatics, the event was more than just a typical Saturday morning workout; it was a chance to help Locklear’s family.
“One of our members is a school counselor at Dani’s school, so she came to us with the idea of putting something together so we took it and ran with it,” said event organizer Kate Colvin. “All the money raised, the proceeds are going to go toward the family for whatever needs they may have.”
Investigators said Locklear left her home on the night of March 11, saying she was going up the street to a friend’s home, but she never made it there.
Since then, the community has rallied around the family, even helping to organize a massive search effort two weeks ago.
This weekend’s fundraiser was organized by CrossFit Ferus, and attracted a large turnout from members of other CrossFit groups throughout the area.
Originally, this weekend’s event was meant to raise money for additional search efforts. However, Wednesday, a young woman’s body was discovered in the South River in Sampson County, and the family says police have told them they suspect it is Locklear.
The victim has been taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Raleigh for identification and to determine the cause of death. Officials said the victim’s identity should be released next week.
If it does turn out to be her, organizers said the money raised will likely go toward funeral expenses. For now, Locklear’s family and those who came to the event are still holding out hope that will not be necessary.
“They greatly appreciate all the prayers and support and at this point they’re just remaining hopeful, from what I know they’re staying as strong as they can and remaining hopeful and praying, praying for Dani,” said family friend Misty Nolan.
Locklear is 5′ 1″ tall, has black hair and green eyes. She weighs around 130 pounds.
The FBI has put up six billboards throughout the Fayetteville and Spring Lake featuring Locklear.
Anyone with any information on Locklear’s whereabouts, can call the Hope Mills Police Department at (910) 425-4103, or the FBI in Charlotte at (704) 672-6100.