Jewel Sykes has been missing since February 2, 2023. The 37-year-old was last seen at the residence she had been staying at with her boyfriend in Halifax County, North Carolina. Jewel’s mother, Lisa Sykes, told Dateline that after not hearing from her daughter for longer than usual, she reported her missing to the Weldon Police Department on March 3.
Lisa said she waited a bit since she and Jewel would sometimes go a few days without speaking. “She’ll stay away from me, maybe a few days, but that’s about it,” she said. “And she’ll be like, ‘Mom, I’m sorry, I don’t want to be away from you. I love you.’ We have our difficulties because I’m a mother and she’s a daughter, that’s what children do. So she stayed away, and I let it go for the first month.”
Lisa says she started to get nervous when, on February 17, Jewel failed to call one of her sons on his birthday. Jewel’s three children had been staying with Lisa in Weldon at the time of their mother’s disappearance.
Lisa says it’s unusual for her daughter to go this long without contacting anyone in the family. “She never stayed away from her children, nor her sisters. She loved her family,” she said. “She’ll never stay away from us, because she knows we love her no matter what.”
According to Lisa, there has been no activity on Jewel’s bank accounts and her social media has been shut down. Dateline spoke with Weldon Police Chief Christopher Davis, who said that authorities have not found any helpful information from Jewel’s accounts “as of yet.”
Lisa believes that her daughter may have met with foul play. “I do think she has been endangered, because I don’t think that my daughter is here, right? Because ain’t no way in this world she will stay away from her mother or her children and her sisters this long,” she said. “She was a beautiful girl. She was beautiful. And I pray that what I’m saying is not true. But as long as she’s been gone, I don’t think that my daughter is alive.”
When asked if the department believes foul play is involved in Jewel’s disappearance, Chief Davis told Dateline that he could not give comment at this time. In reference to the boyfriend with whom Jewel had been staying, the chief said, “We’ve attempted to contact him a couple of times. We’re looking into other avenues at this point in time.” Chief Davis also told Dateline that the department has spoken with “several” people who may have seen Jewel after the date she was reported missing. “We are in the process of doing a little backtracking right now, since we got all of the other leads and it turned out to be nothing,” he said. “So we’re catching up on some other things.” Dateline has reached out to Jewel’s boyfriend but has yet to hear back.
Lisa describes her daughter as a people person. “Jewel is the light of the room. When she comes in, she’s going to make everybody laugh, she’s going to make everybody happy,” she said. “She liked to dress, she liked to keep her house nice. She just got in the wrong hands of people. That’s it. She fell into the wrong hands.”
Jewel is 37 years old and would be turning 38 on June 5. She is 5’7” and weighs around 190 lbs. There is a $15,000 reward being offered by the eastern North Carolina organization Team Cold Case for information that leads to an arrest in the case.
Anyone with information regarding Jewel’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Weldon Police Department at (252)-536-3136.