Missing in West Michigan: The Search for Jessica Heeringa

Posted at 10:41 PM, Feb 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-25 08:13:55-05

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2014) — The same plea has been sent out for nearly 10 months: “Bring Jessica Heeringa home.”

The young mother who police believe was abducted from work is still missing.

Although out of the spotlight, Jessica Heeringa is still fresh on a lot of people’s minds.

“We`re just hoping and hoping, and it’s just a nightmare.  Nothing prepares a family for this.” Jessica’s grandma Diane Homrich said.

The case has been a dead-end, from the surveillance video showing a silver van possibly involved in her abduction to the sketch from witness descriptions of the man behind the wheel. Jessica’s purse and money were left behind, and police found drops of her blood behind the gas station where police believe she was abducted.

“We don’t have the information we need to find Jessica or find her abductor and bring them to justice at this point,” Norton Shores Police Chief Daniel Shaw said.

But that’s not good enough for the family of the now 26-year-old mother. “We hope and we have hoped for several months now that Norton Shores would turn it over to the Michigan State Police,” Homrich said.

Chief Shaw said the tasks force investigating Jessica’s disappearance, including members of the Michigan State Police, still keeps in contact, meeting every few months. “We discuss the case with other jurisdictions to see if there`s connections with any of their open cases, or similar cases that they may have had whether it be an abduction or a rape type case,” Shaw said.

Detective Sgt. Mike Kasher of the Norton Shores Police Department has been exclusively working the case every day since Jessica was abducted.

Both family and police believe those involved in the disappearance are from the Norton Shores area, that’s why their focus has remains the area around the gas station where Heeringa worked.

The Heeringa family says they’ve hired a private investigator with money raised at various fundraisers.

Jessica’s 4-year-old son, Zeven, is no longer in contact with her family. “That just breaks my heart because he’s such a cute little guy and of course he`s our one connection left for Jessie and vice versa,” Homrich said.

But, as  leads grow cold and months go by, Jessica’s family, police and the thousands who support the search online  refuse to give up hope.

Anyone with information on the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa should call Silent Observer at (231) 72-CRIME.