Family holding out hope for missing mother

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 15, 2012

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY – On a Monday in late August, 8-year-old Kyson Lee Prentice started the third grade. His mother didn’t take him.
And she wasn’t there when he came home.
Crystal Morrison Prentice always took Kyson to school on his first day. But she had gone missing four days earlier and hasn’t been seen in three weeks.
Her sister, Mechelle Carey, of Columbia, S.C., is already planning a fourth awareness event for her sister.
The event, slated for Sept. 23, would be the one-month anniversary of Prentice’s disappearance.
Carey said planning events is one of the few things that keeps her going. “I’m really focused on the drive to get her home,” Carey said. “I think as long as I keep focused and have so much stuff to do, that helps me deal with it.”
Prentice, 31, disappeared shortly after leaving her job at Connextions Recruiting on Corporate Drive in Concord on Aug. 23. She was last seen walking from work about 12:40 p.m., Concord Police said.
On Friday, Capt. Alan Overcash said investigators have no new information in the case.
“We know where she was last seen walking,” Overcash said. “As far as a direction after that – we just don’t have any more information.”
Carey spent about four hours with detectives Friday discussing any updates.
But nothing has sparked a lead.
On Aug. 23, Prentice called someone who was “like a grandfather to her” to pick her up, Carey said. Prentice told the man to come and get her because she wasn’t feeling well.
The 31-year-old was gone when he arrived.
Concord Police said Prentice has medical issues that are a concern.
Why she walked away from the building, Carey said, is the question detectives are trying to answer.
The Sept. 23 event will be held in a Concord-area park, Carey said, but she wasn’t sure Friday exactly where it will be.
Carey said crowds of about 100 people have attended two of the events. About 20 percent of people there, she said, never met Prentice. “The community of Concord and Cabarrus County have just been amazing,” she said.
Prentice and Carey were raised by their father, Rick Morrison. Carey said their mother, a West Rowan High School graduate, died of colon cancer in 1991. Prentice was 9 years old at the time.
After seeing the effects of losing a parent firsthand, Carey said she’s tried to protect Kyson during the past three weeks. The 8-year-old has not been to any of the awareness events. If he sees a missing poster of his mother, Carey said, they are “just sharing the positives with him.” Relatives emphasize to Kyson that people care about him, she said, and want to help find his mother.
“It’s not easy. But we’re trying to do our best to protect him,” Carey said. “It’s a very scary thing and we don’t want him to be scared.”
Prentice was last seen wearing a white top with black floral print, black slacks and black heels. She has reddish-blond hair, which may have been in a pony tail, is 5-foot-4 and about 100 pounds.
A reward is being offered to anyone who can provide assistance in finding Prentice.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Concord Police Department at 704-920-5000 or Cabarrus County Crime Stoppers at 704-932-7463.