NORTH CAROLINA (FOX Carolina) -- Twenty years have passed since a nine-year-old North Carolina girl went missing in the middle of the night, according to the FBI. 

Asha Degree disappeared from her bedroom sometime between about 2:30 a.m. on February 14, 2000.

Asha's family and investigators believe that someone in the area may hold the key to unlock the case. So the case remains an open investigation, with local detectives still reviewing old and new leads. 

Reports suggest that Asha may have been walking down Highway 18 in the opposite direction of her home, around 4 a.m.

“The fact that it was a small child that left on Valentine’s Day really caught everybody’s heart in this community,” Det. Adams said. “She’s been called Shelby’s Sweetheart, because she’s a child that’s one of our own that has gone missing, and we want to find out what happened to her.”

Authorities believe that if her photos and story continue to be shared, something may surface and break the case wide open. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 19 years have passed since a 9-year-old girl left her NC home and vanished

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