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Missing Woman: Jessica Heeringa

Jessica HeeringaNORTON SHORES, Mich- Jessica Heeringa has been missing since April 26th from the Norton Shores area. She was last seen at the Exxon Mobil gas station located at 1196 E. Sternburg Rd.

Jessica is a white female, 25 years old, 5’1 tall, approximately 110 lbs., blond shoulder length hair, and blue eyes. Jessica is also know to wear wired rimed glasses. She may be wearing a blue collared shirt saying “Sternberg Exxon”.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME or 911

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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.

Jessica Heeringa New FlyerNORTON SHORES, Mich.- Chief Daniel Shaw of the Norton Shores Police Department says recent rumors regarding the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa are false.

Shaw says there is no one in custody and no updates to the case.

They’re continuing to search for leads and tips in the investigation.

Heeringa has been missing since April 26, 2013 from the Norton Shores area. She was last seen at the Exxon Mobil gas station located at 1196 E. Sternburg Rd.

Jessica is a white female, 25 years old, 5’1 tall, approximately 110 lbs., blond shoulder length hair, and blue eyes. Jessica is also known to wear wired rimmed glasses.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME or 911

NORTON SHORES, Mich. – It’s been nearly eight months since Jessica Heeringa disappeared from the Exxon Mobil where she was working.

Monday morning, outside that Norton Shores gas station, a state lawmaker introduced a bill aimed at protecting those who work during nighttime hours.

If passed, the legislation introduced by state representative Collene Lamonte will require gas stations and convenience store owners in the state of Michigan who are open between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., to either install security cameras or schedule two employees to be on staff.

“In her honor, I am calling this bill ‘Jessica’s Law,’” Lamonte said.

On April 26 Heeringa went to work and never came home.

“Countless community members join the search for Jessica in the hope for bringing her back home to her family, but despite all these efforts, we are no closer to knowing what happened to Jessica than we were 7 months ago,” Lamonte said.

A small trace of Jessica’s blood, a sketch of the suspect, along with a surveillance picture of a grey van are the only clues police have, leaving investigators and family to wonder how much closer they could be to finding Jessica had a security camera been in place at the gas station, or had a second employee been on staff with her that night.

“I think if cameras or a second employee would’ve been in place, I think Jessie would still be here today,” said Shelly Heeringa, Jessica’s mother.

The bill is expected to be introduced to the floor Tuesday afternoon.

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — On Dec. 9, State Representative Collene Lamonte (D-Montague) will introduce a new bill that would require certain safety measures for late-night gas station employees.

The bill would require that gas stations either schedule two employees to work after 11 p.m. or install security cameras.

This legislation is inspired by the case of missing Norton Shores woman Jessica Heeringa, who disappeared from the Exxon station on Sternberg Road April 26.  She was abducted while working alone on the midnight shift, and there were no security cameras in place at the gas station.

Lamonte’s aid confirmed Wednesday that the bill, if passed, would be named after Heeringa.

The official announcement of the bill will take place at 10 a.m. Dec. 9 at the parking lot adjacent to the Exxon station where she was abducted, 1040 E. Sternberg Road.

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.

NORTON SHORES, Mich- October 26 marks six months since Jessica Heeringa was abducted from the Exxon Station in Norton Shores.  As police and family continue to search for answers, a candlelight vigil is planned to keep hope alive.

According to the Find Jessica Heeringa facebook page, the vigil will take place on Saturday at the Points Strip Mall from 6 to 8 p.m.

Jessica disappeared April 26 after working the late shift at the gas station. A small amount of her blood was found at that scene. Despite thousands of tips and a number of searches, the young mother still hasn’t been found.

Anyone with information on her disappearance should call police or Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME.

Jessica HeeringaNORTON SHORES,Mich. — Jessica Heeringa hasn’t been seen since working the late shift at the Exxon gas station April 26. Police believe she was abducted, and detectives say there have been no new leads.

Her mother says they’re keeping Jessica’s face out there, and that her daughter’s story made its way to Ireland and France. According to the Find Jessica Heeringa Facebook page the Norton Shores Police Department has dismantled their team of detectives.

find jessica facebook post

Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME or Norton Shores police at 231-733 -2691

EAST LANSING, MIch. -  According to the Michigan State Police there are currently 4,382 reported missing person cases under investigation.  That’s the reason MSP holds the ‘Missing in Michigan’ gathering each year.

“We had no idea how many missing right here in Michigan there really are,” said Diane Homrich who attended the event on Sunday, Sept. 8 at the Eagle Eye Golf Course near East Lansing.

Homrich has head of this event before but things changed for her four months ago when her grand daughter, Jessica Heeringa, went missing from Norton Shores.  Police said Heeringa was likely abducted from a gas station.

“You see the posters and you think, oh that is too bad, but you go on with your life.  But when it happens to you then you start thinking, I’ve got to start looking at these posters and I want to help these families too,” she said.

While Homrich was attending the event for the first time, others have been to the ‘Missing in Michigan’ event before.  Kellie Greene is the cousin of Richard Hitchcock a person missing from Allegan since 1990.

She comes to the event to share her experience with others who are in the same position she is.

“It’s a very good feeling,” said Greene.  “It renews your faith and the hope that you have that you will be able to bring your loved one home.”

The State Police say they are at the event for a few reasons, to take DNA samples and conduct follow up interviews.

Lt. Michael Shaw with the MSP said,  “We have unidentified remains in different medical examiners offices around the state and while it may not be a happy closure, at least it will let the folks know their loved one has been found and they can have some closure and have a funeral service.”

In the end, the hope is some will leave with the strength to continue the search.

 

NORTON SHORES, Mich.– It has been 100 days since a young mother vanished from her work in Norton Shores.

Jessica Heeringa hasn’t been seen since working the late shift at the Exxon gas station April 26. Police believe she was abducted, and detectives say there have been no new leads.

Her mother says they’re keeping Jessica’s face out there, and that her daughter’s story made its way to Ireland and France.

While it’s comforting to know people aren’t giving up hope, it’s a daily struggle to stay positive.

“It’s frustrating,” said Jessica’s mother, Shelly Heeringa. “It’s anguishing you know? It doesn’t change from the first night it happened. For when you wake up from when you go to bed, so yes, as long as we can keep her picture out there, that’s the most we can do.”

Shelly went on to say she continues to hold out hope.

“I don’t think she is dead, I think she’s still alive,” Heeringa said. “I think that if she, if whoever took her would have killed [her], her body would have been found already.”

If you have any information that could help police, call 231-72- CRIME.

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