Lilburn to remember missing woman

LILBURN - Saturday marks the first anniversary of Lilburn resident Leslie Adams' disappearance, and the city is hosting an awareness event that day in her honor.

The city has proclaimed Saturday as Missing Persons Awareness Day, and a copy of the signed proclamation will be presented at a ceremony at Lilburn City Park following a march from Adams' former residence on Jodeco Circle to the park.

Sgt. Tyler Thomas, spokesman for the Lilburn Police Department, said Adams' family and friends have teamed with the city to organize the event, which will focus on awareness.

The event is not only for Adams but for others who have been reported missing.

"I think it's important for everyone involved, including the family members, friends and even law enforcement," he said. "It keeps us focused on trying to work together in trying to find some type of closure for (Adams') family."

The public is invited to attend the event and support the cause.

As for the disappearance, the case is still a mystery as no suspects have been named, said Cpl. Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Adams was reported missing Oct. 21, 2005, when her friends and family were unable to reach her.

Authorities have since found no trace of her, save for the evidence found at her then-residence, which includes blood on the floor and a single shell casing from a gun, Thomas said.

Her former boyfriend, Billy Joe Cook, 38, was accused of stalking her up until the night she disappeared. According to reports, Adams, the then-40-year-old mother of two, had a protective order filed against Cook, and he reportedly called her 16 times the night she disappeared.

It is also believed Cook saw Adams at a concert in Atlanta on Oct. 20 and tried to fight a man who accompanied her, which Cook denied, according to previous reports.

The protective order was filed after Adams returned home Oct. 18 and found Cook in her bed, a claim that Cook also denied. He was charged with two counts of aggravated stalking, and he turned himself over to authorities but was never named as a suspect.

Thomas said the case was originally worked by the Lilburn Police Department, but it was turned over to the Gwinnett County Police Department, as the county has more resources and is better suited to investigate this type of case.

Moloney said the case is still open, but is more of a cold case, as no further developments have been made.

"Investigators have exhausted all of their leads," Moloney said. "We think a lot, but we can't prove anything. You've got to go where the evidence takes you."

Moloney also said the department still has not ruled the incident as a homicide, so the case is still labeled as involving a missing person.

"We suspect foul play, but we've got nothing," he said. "We're not going to say she's deceased, we just don't know where she is."

Anyone with information about Adams' disappearance is asked to call the Gwinnett County Police Department.