Jessica's Exxon coworker: I felt unsafe

8:18 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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  • Rhonda VanDygriff was a former coworker of Jessica Heeringa at the Exxon gas station in Norton Shores.
  • The Exxon gas station where Jessica Heeringa disappeared Friday, April 26, 2013.

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- A former coworker of Jessica Heeringa is talking about what it was like to work at the Exxon station where the 25-year-old mother was last seen.

Rhonda VanDygriff says she felt unsafe working at the gas station because it lacked video surveillance. "Employees knew that there wasn't cameras; if customers knew I do not know."

VanDygriff says she refused to work at night and close the store. "There is nothing there, the stores in the area are all closed; the store (Exxon) is all by itself."

She adds even during the day there were times customers would make her feel uncomfortable. A Norton Shores Police report from 2012 describes a man wearing a hoodie who wouldn't leave the store. "He was making me feel uncomfortable. The Norton Shores Police responded quickly," says VanDygriff.

Rhonda says she does not recognize the sketch of Jessica Heeringa's alleged abductor. Now that her friend is missing and it's almost been one week, she wonder where the investigation would be if the store had security cameras in place last Friday night.

"If there were cameras they could at least look at the things that happened leading up to the abduction. I personally think it had to be someone local that she knew and lured her out of the store. She would have kicked something, or knocked something, or dropped something. She would have made something known. In my opinion somebody lured her out of the store in a friendly manor and abducted her," says VanDygriff.

A video security system is now in place at the store. WZZM 13 offer the store's owner a chance to comment on this story, but he declined.

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