If she could confront and question him, a cousin of Jeffrey Willis thinks she might get him to tell what he knows about the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa from three years ago.

“We were friends,” Terri Umlor said. “If there is any way I could go in and speak to him, I would like to do that.”

Willis, 46, is charged with trying to kidnap a 16-year-old girl, the 2014 shooting death of jogger Rebekah Bletsch and the production of child pornography.

After his arrest, Umlor says she started connecting the dots linking her cousin to the 2013 disappearance of Herringa from the Norton Shores gas station where she worked.

“I would like to see him open up and tell us,” she said.

Willis had a job at the Herman Miller factory less than five miles from the gas station where Heeringa worked the night shift. Umlor says Willis would stop in during breaks to chat and smoke with Heeringa.

Jeffrey Willis, Jessica Heeringa
Jeffrey Willis and Jessica Heeringa

Willis also drives a silver van similar to one seen near the gas station just before Heeringa was reported missing.

“I would just ask him if he knows where Jessica is,” Umlor said. “We would like to bring her home.

"I feel he does know.”

Investigators call Willis a “person of interest” in the Heeringa case, but so far, say they have not found any evidence that connects him to her disappearance.