LYNCHBURG, Va. (WTVR) — Yellow police tape marks the spot where search crews discovered the body of a missing 18-year-old from Lynchburg behind some headstones marking graves Wednesday.
The Roanoke Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Thursday that the body found in graveyard near Concord Turnpike and Rt. 460 was Jamisha Gilbert.
The discovery came five days after Gilbert's mother filed a missing persons report. The teen was last seen on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
“Here I sit. It just seems like this is not real, but I know it’s real,” Norma Gilbert-Eldridge told CBS 6 News anchor Lorenzo Hall Thursday.
Gilbert-Eldridge said she knew her daughter was not going to be found alive.
“As a mother, I just felt it in my body. I had an uneasy feeling in my stomach and I knew Jamisha was gone," said Gilbert-Eldridge.
She said her daughter was responsible, with plans to attend the University of Maryland, and even boasted about her acceptance letter online earlier this year.
According to police, she was last seen in person walking along Route 460 where her car was found abandoned. Police said it looked like the Honda Accord had been involved in a crash, but it was unclear whether Gilbert in the vehicle at the time.
The scene was eerily similar to 17-year-old Alexis Murphy's disappearance four months ago. However, police said Thursday that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest a connection, but people in this area are still worried.
“It’s becoming scandalous – and it needs to stop,” said one man.
Police are not saying who they believe is responsible for Jamisha's death, but her mom is shifting her efforts to the search for that person.
“I hope your conscious will not let you rest until you come forth and tell what you know – or tell what you did, because you deserve to be punished," said Gilbert-Eldridge.
"Investigative efforts made by the Lynchburg Police Department Criminal Investigations Division include following up on numerous leads, conducting multiple interviews, collecting available evidence, and searching various areas around the Concord Turnpike area. At this time, this case is being investigated as an incident that involves a suspicious death," Lynchburg Police wrote in a statement. "Up to this point in the investigation, no information has been obtained that would lead investigators to believe that this case is in any way related to the missing person case involving Alexis Murphy. Also, investigators have not received any information that would lead them to believe that the public is in any immediate danger as related to the circumstances in this case."
Lynchburg Police asked anyone with information to call 434-455-4090.