New Lead in Search for Missing, Maybe Stolen, Local Pet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – One dog found, one dog still lost. Sonja and Ray Drury’s two Frenchies disappeared 51 days ago from their secluded, private yard at the end of a dead end road near Mountain Island Lake in northwest Charlotte. Sonja says, “I let the dogs out around 2:30,” and, “When I went to let them back in, they were just gone.”

“Nutella” was returned the next day, brought to a gas station on the Brookshire. More on that in a moment. Espresso is still missing. Ray says, “All we want is our dog back.”

The French bulldog, only about a year and a half old, did not have tags and is not microchipped. It admittedly seems like a long shot to find the animal.

But.

The couple does have this: a new gas station surveillance picture of the car, an orange Toyota RAV4, that the people who returned their other dog were driving. Ray says, “They may be able to give us more information or help us find Espresso.”

Sonja and Ray say the couple maybe accidentally referenced finding “dogs,” plural, when they brought Nutella to the gas station. They have tried repeatedly to get back in touch with that couple. The police even called and left a message. But so far, there’s been silence from the couple in that newer model orange RAV4 with stickers on the rear window.

“We just knew something was definitely not right,” says Ray.

The Drurys have hired a private investigator. They have plastered the area with posters, and sent letters to veterinarians all over the Carolinas in case someone brings Espresso in. They are offering a $1,500 reward. They paid for professional scent tracking dogs that tracked Espresso’s last scent to the end of a nearby dock. And they have filed a police report.

But, they are willing to let it all go, quietly, if they can just get their dog back. Ray says, “We don’t want to create a problem for whoever has her. We’d be more than willing to just take the dog, and walk away.

Stealing a dog is a felony in North Carolina. If you recognize that orange RAV4, please contact WCCB TV at newsdesk@wccbtv.com, or call the non-emergency police number 311.