Missing woman last seen in Plaza Midwood

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Many local news outlets today are reporting on the search for a missing 23-year-old woman. Valerie Hamilton (daughter of Concord police chief Merl Hamilton) was last seen Wednesday between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. at Thomas Street Tavern.

From the Charlotte Observer: "Police say Hamilton is 5 feet 3 and 125 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. Police also say she has a distinctive tattoo on the back of her neck – three stars in a horizontal design."

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This is pretty scary. I've always felt super safe in Plaza Midwood (and actually many of the neighborhoods I frequent); in fact, there have been quite a few times I've left Thomas Street Tavern and walked to my car alone and didn't think anything of it. What resonates more is that I'm not much older than this woman.

This situation should serve as a reminder to us ladies, and everyone really, that although Charlotte has a great nightlife scene for us all to enjoy, bad things can and will happen — especially under the veil of darkness. As much as we'd like to think we are, we're not invincible, and we need to take measures to protect ourselves.

Here's hoping that everything turns out OK for Valerie.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call 911 or contact a CMPD detective, 704-432-TIPS. Or information can be left with Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600.

UPDATE, Sept. 20: They caught the dirty bastard who murdered her.

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