User Accusations Create Controversy on ‘Find Jessica Heeringa’ Page

Posted at 7:31 PM, Nov 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-04 20:32:58-05

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — It’s been six months since Jessica Heeringa was abducted from a gas station in Norton Shores, and now the Facebook page created to raise awareness about her disappearance is heating up as accusations fly throughout the threads.

More than 21,000 people like the ‘Find Jessica Heeringa’ Facebook page.  Many of them come to the site from across the world to express their condolences to the family.

Recently, though, people are being accused of knowing more information about her disappearance than they’re coming forward with. Commenters, are telling specific people to come forward with what they know, usually by writing out their initials.

“I don’t want people accusing anybody of anything, and we aren’t accusing anyone.  We just want people to speak up and that’s all we ask for,” said Carrie Mitchell, the Find Jessica Heeringa Facebook page administrator. “Most of that does not come from us. Most of that comes from the general public: people that follow Jessica’s case. People that know what’s going on.

Chief Daniel Shaw with the Norton Shores Police Department has been leading the way on this case since Heeringa was abducted from the Exxon Mobil in Norton Shores in April.

“Be careful of jumping to conclusions,” Shaw said. “That’s what I’ve said from the start. We follow the evidence. We don’t jump to conclusions because then we go off on the wrong track and then innocent people can get hurt.”

But, that’s not the chief’s only concern.

“It’s causing some difficulties for our investigators because they’ll get tips that are based on the rumors we have to follow up on them.”

The family has created a petition to move Jessica’s case from the NSPD into the hands of Michigan State Police. Shaw said their department has been working with MSP from the beginning and are still investigating the case on a daily basis.