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Cousin appeals for help to find missing Decatur woman as police search her home
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Cousin appeals for help to find missing Decatur woman as police search her home

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Crutchfield

Crutchfield 

DECATUR — Ryan Blankenship is convinced, someone, somewhere, has information that can help the police find out what happened to his missing cousin, Norma Crutchfield.

Crutchfield, 41, lives in Decatur and was last seen Nov. 1 in the 1100 block of East Olive Street where she had been staying.

One ominous development was the sight of Decatur police detectives and experts from a State Police investigative unit entering Crutchfield’s East Olive residence Saturday and apparently searching the building and gathering evidence.

Detective Sgt. Chris Copeland with Decatur police would make no comment on the police activity except to confirm the investigation into Crutchfield’s whereabouts continued.

Blankenship, a landlord with property in Decatur who lives in Harristown, said he is holding onto the belief that his cousin will yet be found alive, if not well.

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“Because I don’t think she is gone,” he told the Herald & Review Sunday. “No, I don’t feel that. She is still missing and any leads, anything, might help find her. She might have got in with some bad people and maybe they are holding her somewhere, you know? If anyone out there knows something, please tell the police.”

He said his cousin had led a troubled life beset with drug problems. But she had always maintained fairly close links with her family, especially her Mom and her aunt. “Before, probably the longest her aunt would go without hearing from her would be maybe a week,” added Blankenship. “Norma would stay in touch.”

Blankenship said the police search of the house is a worrying development but he’s also glad to see officers pursuing leads and working the case to find Crutchfield. He said her disappearance and the fears of not knowing what has become of her was very hard on the family, and has made him regret some decisions he has made in the past.

Blankenship recalled seeing his cousin on the street a year ago and, after realizing she hadn’t noticed him, turning away so she wouldn't catch sight of him. “Because, you know, every time I would see her before she would always ask me for money,” he explained. “Now I realize I should have talked to her, I should have tried to help her.”

Anyone with information about Norma Crutchfield can call Decatur Police at (217) 424-2734 or Crime Stoppers at (217) 423-TIPS.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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