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Cold case: Skeletal remains may be missing hair stylist's

  • Story Highlights
  • Atlanta hair stylist Leslie Marva Adams disappeared three years ago
  • She failed to show up at her sister's birthday party
  • Adams had taken out a restraining order against an ex-boyfriend
  • Police continue with DNA tests to determine if skeletal remains are hers
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By Rupa Mikkilineni
Nancy Grace Producer
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Three years ago Tuesday, Leslie Marva Adams, an attractive, 40-year-old hair stylist from Atlanta, Georgia, chatted on the phone with her mother in the morning.

Leslie Adams, 40, filed a restraining order against an old boyfriend and disappeared three years ago.

It was the last conversation she would have with a family member.

On the third anniversary of Adams' disappearance, her family is still waiting for answers. Her daughter, Cierra Burk, 19, clings to the belief that Adams is alive.

"We will find her," Burk says.

The family became concerned when Adams failed to show up for her sister's birthday party the day after she talked on the phone with her mother. Two days after the missed party, Adams was officially reported missing.

At her apartment in suburban Lilburn, police found evidence suggesting foul play -- a 12-inch blood stain near her bed and a .45-caliber bullet casing. Adams' car was parked in her driveway and a handwritten note was found on her door.

Investigators soon learned the note was from her sister, Roberta. It said, "Leslie, we're worried about you, please call me as soon as possible." Video Watch how the mystery began with a missed party »

Adams had been having trouble with her ex-boyfriend, Billy Joe Cook, in the days leading up to her disappearance. She had accused him of stalking her and had filed a restraining order.

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In the court document, she alleged that Cook had verbally and physically abused her. She said she feared for her life. A temporary restraining order was granted by the court, but Adams vanished before a scheduled hearing on the matter.

Phyllis Adams said her daughter told her in their final conversation that she had argued with Cook over the phone on the previous day.

According to the temporary restraining order, Cook was not to have any contact with Adams.

Police brought Cook in for questioning and learned he had spoken to Adams on the phone twice the day before she last spoke to her family. Although he was questioned extensively, police have not named Cook a suspect.

Police say he was very cooperative and there is no evidence suggesting his involvement in her disappearance, although they have not ruled him or anyone else out as a potential suspect or person of interest.

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Just when they thought the trail had gone cold, police found what could be a lead in the case. In May 2007, clothing was recovered that could belong to the missing hair-dresser. Police found a pair of men's size 8 Reebok sneakers, size 10 capri pants, and a black sweater in the woods along I-85 in Franklin County, 90 miles from Adams' home in Atlanta.

They also discovered human bones and a breast implant near the clothing.

Police have sent the remains to a DNA testing lab and they have yet to be identified. The results are inconclusive, and police continue to collect DNA samples from Adams family members for future tests.

Leslie Marva Adams is an African-American female who stands 5 feet 5 inches, weighs 130 pounds, and has breast implants. Family members fear the remains could be Leslie Adams, but they are still hopeful that she will be found alive and well.

Burk, Adams' daughter, says she struggles with her emotions at this time of year.


"I still believe she is alive and we will find her, but this time of year is very hard," she said, fighting the tears. "It's my aunt's birthday, the day my mom didn't show up and we never saw her again, so it's hard not to break down."

Police and family urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of Leslie Adams to call the Gwinett County Police Department at (770) 513-5300. There is a $25,000 reward for information that helps locate Leslie Adams or leads to the arrest of the person responsible for her disappearance.

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