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Hundreds mobilize to find Jessica Heeringa

9:45 AM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
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Jessica Heeringa

UPDATE (WZZM) - Searchers are asking for your help by sharing a Facebook page they have created.  You can also print off posters from the page.

The page is https://www.facebook.com/FindJessicaHeeringa .

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- Norton Shores Police are treating the disapperance of Jessica Heeringa, 25, as an abduction.

Heeringa disappeared from work at the Exxon Mobile gas station on Sternberg Road in Norton Shores Friday, sometime between 11p.m. and 11:15pm, according to police.

During a press conference Sunday, Police Chief Daniel Shaw announced they have a suspect.

Police interviewed four people who know her, but ruled them out. They now have one suspect but haven't released a sketch yet.

The driver is described as a white male, approximately 30-40 years old, approximately 6 feet tall, wearing a bright red or orange sweatshirt.

Jessica is described as a white female, 5'1 tall, approximately 110 lbs., blond shoulder length hair, and blue eyes. Jessica is also known to wear wired rim glasses. She may be wearing a blue collared shirt saying "Sternberg Exxon".

Chief Shaw says Heeringa was by herself, and they found her purse and the cash register untouched. No money was missing.

"Her car, keys, everything left at the station," said her mother, Shelly Heeringa. 

Jessica's family and friends didn't wait for police to declare her abducted. They formed a search team Sunday afternoon right next to the gas station.

Shelly Heeringa and her family and friends are now in "go" mode.

"We're going to go towards Grand Haven and Spring Lake area," said one family friend.

They're trying to get her 25-year-old daughter Jessica's face on every street corner and business window in West Michigan.

WZZM 13 went along as they put up "Missing" posters in the area.

"I want to make sure to hit the Dollar General and Showcase Cinema," said Shelly.

Police are now going off one big new clue, and they hope the public will help them out. Chief Shaw says a Chrysler Town and Country was reported to have been seen in the area of the Exxon station prior to Jessica's disappearance.

The Chrysler minivan raised suspicion because it may have been there in the past.

"Other people have contacted them from other gas stations about a gray van pulling up to their gas station and just sitting there staring at the girls who are working inside. And then they take off," said Shelly.

Heeringa and Chief Shaw believe the person was probably a past customer. They say Jessica's a friendly girl, and there were no signs of a struggle.

"She's very helpful, that's why I think he lured her out of the gas station," said Heeringa.  "He knew there wasn't security cameras."

And though store employees told WZZM 13 on Sunday that they had security in place before Friday, Heeringa says that's not what the owner told her.

"He said he likes to hire the young pretty girls because it brings in more customers. And he only had $3,000 in drive-off gas so he didn't think is was worth putting in a $5,000 security system.

Heeringa and her parents say at this point they have to focus not on what security would have found, but what they can do to find Jessica.

"The best would be to see Jessie's face, and not a picture," said Heeringa, who added that Jessica has a three-year-old son and boyfriend who miss her very much.

"I think she's a little scrapper. He'll have a hard time with her," said Jessica's grandfather, Roman Homrich.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME (231-722-7463) or call 911.

The FBI is expected to become involved soon.

In the meantime, a Norton Shores resident came up to the family today and offered his own $500 reward for anyone who steps forward with information.

He's asking the entire community to help find Jessica.

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