Gas Station Employee, 25, Likely Abducted: Police

Jessica Heeringa disappeared Friday night

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2013 5:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jessica Heeringa was working the night shift at a Michigan gas station when she went missing just before the 11pm closing time Friday night, the AP reports. Investigators think the petite 25-year-old mother was abducted, and family members believe she was lured away from the Exxon Mobil in Norton Shores by an acquaintance or someone saying they needed help. A few odd details from the local police chief would seem to fit that theory: "There's no sign of a struggle, no sign of anything inside the store being disturbed. The cash drawer was sitting out and no money was missing. Her purse was in the store with 400-some dollars in it. It's just odd how that occurred."

Friends say customers at the gas station are regular, and they also believe Heeringa knew or at least recognized her abductor, Fox 17 reports. Heeringa's disappearance was discovered after customers found the gas station open but empty and called police. There's scant evidence to work with, as the station had no security camera; right now, police are looking for a gray or silver minivan seen in the area and its driver, a white man aged 30 to 40, around six feet tall with wavy, light brown hair. Friends and family members are upset with the owner of the gas station, who they say is not doing enough to help, Michigan Live reports. Heeringa's fiance (the father of her 3-year-old son) and a few other acquaintances have already been cleared, WZZM reports.

This undated family photo released by the family of Jessica Heeringa via WOOD-TV shows the 25-year-old western Michigan woman who apparently was abducted Friday, April 26, 2013.
This undated family photo released by the family of Jessica Heeringa via WOOD-TV shows the 25-year-old western Michigan woman who apparently was abducted Friday, April 26, 2013.   (AP Photo/family photo via WOOD-TV)
This undated photo released by police in Norton Shores, Mich., shows Jessica Heeringa, 25, who apparently was abducted Friday, April 26, 2013.
This undated photo released by police in Norton Shores, Mich., shows Jessica Heeringa, 25, who apparently was abducted Friday, April 26, 2013.   (AP Photo/Norton Shores Police Department)
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