Could private investigator help find missing Caroline woman?

It’s been about six and a half months since Katelin Akens’ luggage was found in a Spotsylvania County ditch.

Spotsylvania authorities still have no idea whatever happened to her.

“The case is still open and we have a detective who is actively working on it,” Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pearce said. “We’ve looked everywhere we know to look, but at this time we have no new leads or information.”

Akens, a former Caroline County resident, was a student at a beautician school in Arizona at the time of her disappearance. She was supposed to take a flight from Reagan National Airport Dec. 5 for a return trip to Arizona.

Authorities said they confirmed that her stepfather dropped her off at the Springfield Mall that day and she was supposed to take the Metro to the airport. Her family reported her missing after learning that she never made it to Arizona.

Her luggage was later found in a drainage ditch on River Road in Spotsylvania near its intersection with Fall Hill Avenue. Inside the luggage were her plane ticket, credit card and other personal items.

Pearce said the Sheriff’s Office has spent a number of hours searching for Akens. That search has included working with authorities in Arizona and elsewhere.

Akens had no prior history of going missing, police said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Charli Grace Gongloff seeking donations to assist in the hiring of a private investigator to search for Akens.

The page states that there is a $3,500 goal, but only $200 had been raised as of Friday.

Pearce said it would be “wonderful” if a private investigator has more success than the Sheriff’s Office has had in finding Akens.

“We just want her to be found and to be alright,” Pearce said.

Supporters of Akens have created a Facebook site called “Raising Awareness for Katelin Akens.” According to the site, an event for Akens is scheduled for July 2 from noon to 2 p.m. in front of Hobby Lobby in Central Park in Fredericksburg.

Family members and representatives of The AWARE Foundation are supposed to be on hand distributing fliers and talking to people in an effort to bring renewed attention to the search for Akens.

“Her loved ones deserve to know where she is and why she disappeared,” the page states.