CLEVELAND COUNTY -- A special agent in the 17-year Asha Degree missing persons case says there is reason to believe that people in the Shelby community have information on the case and that the case is still an active investigation, not a cold case.

Federal, state and local investigators held a news conference on the case on Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities say the National Child Abduction Team will be in town to investigate Degree’s disappearance and that the assumption is that Asha is still alive.

Asha Degree was reported missing from her home in Shelby on Feb. 14, 2000.

The FBI, Cleveland County Sheriff's Office and North Carolina SBI have been working together on this case, and they'll now partner with an FBI headquarters team, as well.