WHITSETT, N.C. — The family of a father of six is pleading for his safe return, two weeks removed from the last time they saw him.
On Aug. 6, Lisa Rodgers says her son, 35-year-old Jamar Jenkins, came to her Whitsett home to help her put together a desk. His longtime girlfriend and their young daughter also came to visit.
“He came and said, ‘Mom, I’m going to the store down the street,’’’ Lisa said. “Those were the last words I heard from my son.”
Jamar was supposed to make a brief trip to a gas station around the corner in Lisa’s car, which is a 2010 Honda Accord. He’d left his wallet at her home. The desk was unfinished. Perhaps most telling is that he didn’t kiss his mother before leaving, as he always had.
Jamar is now Lisa’s only child, after her other son was killed at the age of 14 in a car accident 15 years ago.
“That bothers me now, looking back, that he didn’t kiss me,” Lisa said. “He had every intention of coming back.”
An hour later, his girlfriend called back to the house to see if Jamar was still there.
“That’s when I kind of got scared and I said, ‘Well let me call his phone,’” and no answer. “It went straight to voicemail,” Lisa said.
More hours ticked by, until the following morning when Rodgers’ phone rang.
“He said, ‘This is Belmont Police, we have your car here and it was abandoned in Belmont,’” Lisa detailed. “I didn’t even know where Belmont was.”
Belmont police say the vehicle was found unoccupied in the area of R.L. Stowe Road and Keener Boulevard. They immediately conducted a search with the help of a K-9, and have searched since, but haven’t found any sign of Jamar.
“For him not to be seen or heard from again, with his car in a strange area, it’s heartbreaking,” Lisa said.
Gibsonville and Belmont police are both now investigating, in what they’re calling a missing persons case. Gibsonville police are involved because, although Lisa’s home has a Whitsett address, her neighborhood falls under Gibsonville’s jurisdiction.
“He’s a good guy, he’s a family man, he was the protector,” Lisa said. “He has six children that he loves dearly.”
Jamar’s family says he doesn’t have any ties to the Belmont area, which is west of Charlotte, and about two hours from his mother’s home.
“If you’ve ever been to Belmont, it’s not a straight shot,” said Jamar’s father, Pernell Rodgers.
Police say the phone company has repeatedly tried to ping Jamar’s phone. The last time it was tracked, they say, was in the High Point area. Every attempt since has indicated that his phone is off.
Both family members and investigators say Jamar has no history of mental illness and no reason for purposely disappearing.
Lisa fears someone has taken him hostage, or worse.
“I need my son. Please let him go. Let him come home,” she pleaded, tearfully.
“We all love him,” Pernell echoed. “Please.”
Belmont police say they plan to conduct another K-9 search on Friday.
The family is currently raising money, which will be put towards a reward for finding Jamar.
“I miss him,” Lisa said. “Jamar, I miss you. You know I love you with everything that I have.”
Anyone with information on Jamar’s whereabouts is asked to contact Gibsonville police at (336)449-6677, or Belmont Police, at (704) 825-3792.