HOLLAND, Mich. – On Monday afternoon news that Emelene VanDyke, a mother of three missing for month a month, was found safe reached Courtnie Turpin.
“She was my best friend,” Turpin said. ”She was in my wedding four months ago, so it doesn’t make sense to me.”
Holland police say officers in New Mexico found VanDyke’s car at a hotel in Roswell. Police were able to speak with the 36-year-old and learned that she had left on her own and was not in any danger.
Police say VanDyke knew she had been reported missing but for personal reasons never reached out to anyone.
Turpin says she can only imagine what VanDyke’s family has been going through this past month.
“Hard, there is no other way to put it,” she said. ”I’m 35 and I’m taking it had so I’m sure they are taking it hard.”
Turpin admits that she was a little angry to find out that VanDyke left on her own.
Turpin knows a lot of effort went into the search for her friend. According to Captain Jack Dykstra, with the Holland Department of Public Safety, more than 80 hours of police work were devoted to the search for VanDyke.
Despite no reunion with her family, VanDyke has been removed from the missing persons database freeing up investigators to do other work.