NORTON SHORES, Mich. — From business storefronts to car windows, everywhere you go in Norton Shores you can see Jessica Heeringa’s face. The flyer picturing the beautiful young woman with the words “Kidnapped” plastered in big letters is hard to miss.
Each day, her family makes it their job to hand out the papers and sell t-shirts in hopes of keeping Jessica’s case fresh in the eyes of the community. It also passes the time as they wait for answers.
On day 12 of the investigation, Norton Shores detectives released a major break in the case., forensic evidence.
DNA testing has confirmed a small amount of blood found at the Exxon gas station where Jessica Heeringa disappeared turns out to be hers.
“We’re hoping it would be the suspect’s DNA to get us a little closure to finding out who he is, but for some reason that is not to be yet, ” said Diane Homrich, Jessica’s grandmother.
“It still tells us that she fought him, that whatever injuries she had that it was not mortal and that gives us a lot of hope,” she said.
Homrich describes her grandaughter as smart and scrappy, and knows she would put up a fight.
“I’ve always tried to raise my kids to be strong independent women and to me it shows she fought and she didn’t go willingly, and the whole family feels she is still alive,” said Homrich.
As time goes by, the case has taken a toll on family. Heeringa’s young son is asking why his mom isn’t there to sing him songs at night.
“I know a hard time for him is when he has to go to bed because Jessie always had a certain little ditty she sang to him and now he wants to know where his mom is so she can sing to him, so I think he’s becoming aware that mom has been gone a long time and doesn’t understand what’s going on,” Homrich said.
The family has thanked the community for all their constant support as they hold out for answers and hopefully Jessica’s return home.