PENDER COUNTY — A missing Wilmington woman was found dead in Hampstead Thursday evening by law enforcement, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).
Deputies had been looking for Hannah Nicole Faith, 18, since her grandmother filed a missing report on Wednesday. She had last made contact with her family by telephone the previous Wednesday, March 18.
The PCSO believes that Faith was with Micah Me’Nace Howard, an 18-year-old black male, on that date, according to a release sent late Thursday morning.
On Thursday morning the deceased woman’s mother, Monica Faith, said that her daughter had called her own mother, Carolyn Faith, and said that Hannah had been fighting with Howard, her boyfriend, and was planning to break off the relationship.
According to the family, Howard was pulled over while driving Hannah’s 2005 Buick on Sunday, four days after the phone call, but her daughter was not inside the vehicle at the time, according to what a police officer told Carolyn, the grandmother who filed the report.
“They didn’t disclose to my mom why he got pulled over, but just that he got pulled over,” Monica said. “He didn’t get any charges pressed on him, at the time, but he did get pulled over driving her car and she wasn’t in the car.”
PCSO spokesperson Captain James Rowell confirmed that Carolyn Faith filed a missing person report on Wednesday, a week after her last conversation with her granddaughter Hannah.
Rowell said that Howard’s traffic history report showed “there was a traffic stop on [Sunday]” at 8:56 a.m., but it didn’t show the type of vehicle that was stopped, and nothing in the initial missing person report included the traffic stop.
“It doesn’t say anything in this report about that traffic stop being related to searching for her,” Rowell said. “At that point, we didn’t even know she was missing.”
Rowell also said PCSO deputies had visited a residence that Hannah may have been staying at, one associated with Howard — 498 Williams Store Road in Hampstead — and he wasn’t there. Because the mother and grandmother do not live near the greater Wilmington area, he said it had been difficult to establish her last known location.
Possible weekend sighting at Walmart near Jacksonville
Reached again by phone on early Thursday afternoon, Monica said a person had reached out to her in response to postings Faith made on several Wilmington-area Facebook pages the night before. This person, according to Monica, had seen a couple that appeared to resemble her daughter and Howard at a Walmart in Richlands, about ten miles northwest of Jacksonville.
This person informed her that the man was yelling at the woman aggressively and that the woman had bruising on her arms and her hair “was in a mess,” according to Monica.
“She said she looked scared,” according to Monica.
Monica also said that her mother, Carolyn, had received a text message from Howard himself on Saturday that said, “I’m with Hannah and she’s okay.”
But since that Saturday text message, Monica said Howard has not answered multiple phone calls from her mother or from law enforcement officers.
“After Wednesday, she stopped making contact. And her phone’s been off, but it’s not that it wasn’t paid,” Monica said. “The police officer looked — my mom was the last one who texted her, and it didn’t even get delivered. So her phone’s been physically off, whether it’s not charged or was turned off, but nothing is getting delivered; it just goes straight to voicemail.”
So far, no criminal charges have been filed. The cause of death has not been released by PCSO. According to Pender County Sherriff Alan Cutler, this is an ongoing investigation.