Holland Woman Goes Missing After Planning To Attend Singles Retreat

Posted at 7:08 PM, Feb 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-22 21:59:20-05

Police are now searching for a Holland woman who went missing on Valentines Day.

Emelene Van Dyke, 36, told co-workers she was going on a retreat and didn’t show up for work the following week.

Her home on College Street was the last place Emelene was seen at her home on College Street in Holland.

Emelene friends said she had posted that she was going on an “electronics free weekend” then she vanished.

“It’s not normal. Something just doesn’t add up,” said Samantha Cox, Emelene’s friend.

Good friends like Samantha Cox haven’t heard from Emelene Van Dyke for a number of days and her Facebook, oddly silent.

“She doesn’t usually just take off, so we’re all very, very worried,” said Cox.

Neighbors haven’t seen Emelene at her apartment home in Holland since last Thursday.

Her mail is piling up and her parking space is filled with snow.

“She would come home every day, you know,  never would be gone long periods of time. So, definitely it was kind of a shock to us all didn’t really see this coming definitely,” said Evan Lancaster, Emelene’s neighbor.

Evan said he last saw her February, 14, acting normally. Then he said she was gone.

Emelene worked at Hospice of Holland, where she had been talking about going on a retreat weekend for divorced and single women for about six weeks prior.

The executive director said she took some time off.

Her friends then say she posted on Facebook that she would be going on an electronics free weekend.

“We believe she has her phone with her but it is turned off,” said Cox.

She also did do some things that were out of character, bought a new car that nobody knew about.

Police say she bought a new car at a Hyundai dealership in Holland and friends say she withdrew as much as $1.000 to perhaps $2,000 in cash from her bank.

A security camera caught Van Dyke withdrawing the money at her bank’s ATM machine.

When she failed to show up for work Tuesday, her employers called her emergency contact her ex husband Doug Collison.

Hospice director Torrey Husman told him to call Holland Police, friends and co-workers say she loved her job as a billing expert, was great friends with her ex husband and loved  her three boys ages 11 to 14-years-old.

“She seen them, it was almost daily, she saw them all the time, she went to all their sporting events, she was really into the church and the kids and it’s just not normal,” said Cox. “I’ve never known her not to go anywhere without her bible and both her bibles are sitting there on the counter. Something’s not right. Somethings’ not adding up.”

Friends say Emelene did not have custody of her children following a divorce ten years ago, but she was able to see the kids anytime she wanted. They say she and her ex husband were close.

We spoke with him briefly. Doug said he was very concerned for Emelene since this was so out of character for her.

Friends say they thought she had mentioned she was going up north for the retreat, perhaps Traverse City.

They said she liked to gamble at casinos near that area.

However, detectives haven’t been able to find an event that fit the retreat profile she had talked about in that area.