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Charges against Panthers' Hardy dismissed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Prosecutors dismissed domestic violence charges against Panthers defensive end and soon-to-be free agent Greg Hardy on Monday after they said the accuser in the case couldn't be found.

The dismissal happened just as Hardy's appeal in the case was set to begin. Mecklenburg County district attorney Andrew Murray told the judge that officials attempted many times to contact the woman, but failed. Murray said the woman had settled her civil suit against Hardy.

Hardy, whose NFL future is uncertain, left with his attorney and did not answer questions. Moments before court convened, Hardy appeared calm, tweeting that he would be giving away a pair of his game cleats to a fan who could name his favorite color, his favorite president and his favorite NBA player.

Hardy was convicted last summer of assault on a female and communicating threats in a case involving a former girlfriend. The Associated Press generally does not name victims of abuse.

Murray told Superior Court Judge Robert T. Sumner that law enforcement had taken "extraordinary" measures to find the accuser so that she could testify during the appeal. He said they took surveillance of her new address, attempted to find her at work and tried to contact relatives but couldn't locate her.

Murray said in a statement released after the proceedings that prosecutors spoke to the accuser in October and November and that "during those conversations the victim expressed that she did not want to participate in another trial."

Murray said that the woman's attorney, Daniel Zamora, also would not share information about her location. Zamora could not be reached Monday for comment.