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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Friday, human remains were found in Wilmington’s Love Grove community, three months after 83-year-old Alma Lawson went missing from the area. Even though that body has not yet been positively identified, Lawson’s son believes it is his mother. He says he now has some closure.

A place in the pews at St. Phillip church in Wilmington has been empty for three months: the place where 84-year-old Lawson sat faithfully every Sunday for the past 20 years.

“I thought about her not being there every Sunday,” said Pastor De’other Melvin.

Lawson’s son, Ahmad Rashed, drove his mother to church every week in her old age. But something was different November 4th.

Rashed recalled talking with his mother that morning: “I said, ‘You must not want to go to church,’ she said, ‘I don’t. I can’t do nothing right.’ Those were here last words to me.”

Later that day, Lawson left the house without telling her son, something she never did.

“Just before dark she wasn’t back and I knew something was wrong.”

For the past three months investigators and volunteers have searched Love Grove tirelessly.

Friday, police found a body and some of Lawson’s belongings.

“She’s been found,” said Rashed. “So it’s no longer guessing and hoping, and wishing.”

Her son says his mother was a caring person, who will be missed by the many people whose lives she touched.

“Easy to get along with. Loved to talk. Loved to dress. It was one of her things. And she was always concerned about her fellow man and fellow woman,” said Rashed.

The lessons of faith Lawson taught so many is what now comforts her loved ones.

“One never knows how he’s going to leave this world,” said Melvin. “That’s why, I think, we should have peace with God all the time.”

“No question. My mom was a very faithful woman,” said Rashed. “She’s in heaven. No question.”

An autopsy is set for Monday. Rashed believes it will identify his mother and he plans to make arrangements for services this week.


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