Jessica Heeringa (Courtesy ABC News)
NORTON SHORES, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- Craig Harpster said he knew something was wrong.
The gas station clerk was gone, but the door was unlocked.
The 54-year-old Muskegon man called 911 after 11 p.m. Friday when he pulled into the Exxon Mobil gas station and found the business empty, he said. The clerk, identified by police as 25-year-old Jessica Heeringa, was missing.
Days later, there has been no trace of Heeringa.
Norton Shores Police Chief Daniel Shaw said she is believed to have been abducted that night from the station, where she was working alone and about to end her shift at 11:30 p.m.
Police have interviewed and cleared four people of interest, including the woman's fiance, another man she knew, a regular customer of hers and one other person, according to a source familiar with the police investigation. They underwent polygraph tests, and their alibis were checked out, the source said.
Shaw said police believe Heeringa's abductor may know her.
"We're thinking whoever took Jessica definitely knew her or she knew them in some way either as acquaintances or a customer that she had a rapport with," he said.
Heeringa's grandmother, Diane Homrich, said she doesn't know who could be behind it.
But Homrich said she believes the person responsible probably knew her granddaughter's work schedule. She said she thinks Heeringa would have fought the person.
Family members, friends and strangers are blanketing the area, putting missing person posters on windows, telephone posts, businesses and anywhere else they can.
Homrich has a message for the person responsible: "Be a hero and send her back to us."
Shaw said the last transaction made at the gas station Friday was about 10:50 p.m. The 911 call came in about 11:15 p.m.
Shaw said a minivan was seen at the gas station around the time Heeringa disappeared. The driver was described as a man who is roughly 30-40 years old and was wearing a bright red or orange shirt, Shaw said.
The station had no surveillance cameras, he said, but police are checking footage from surveillance systems of nearby businesses.
Shaw said Heeringa may have been preparing to close the station since the cash drawer was out on the counter, and it appeared she was cleaning up. Also, he said, there were no signs of a struggle. Heeringa's purse and car were left there.
She has a young son she would not have left behind, Shaw said.
"Just from what we learned about Jessica, that is not her," he said. "That is not her behavior to walk away from her family and from her loved ones."
Harpster said he stopped at the gas station after getting off work about 11 p.m. When he walked inside, no one was there. He checked the building, including the cooler, he said. The clerk's purse was still by the cashier's station, and nothing appeared to be disturbed inside the station, Harpster said.
"I really felt something was up right away," he said. "Not good."
Homrich, 73, said was "in total shock" after she got a frantic call from her daughter Saturday morning explaining what happened.
"My feeling is that someone lured her outside of the store and then grabbed her," Homrich said. "She would help anybody with anything."
She said Heeringa had been working at the station for about a year.
Homrich described Heeringa - a Muskegon native with a 3-year-old son, Zevyn - as friendly, outgoing and a collector of fairies. Dakotah Quail-Dyer, the father of Heeringa's child, told the Free Press the two planned to get married but had not yet set a date.
A task force made up of Norton Shores police, Michigan State Police, the Muskegon County Sheriff's Office, Muskegon Police Department and the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office has been formed to investigate Heeringa's disappearance, Shaw said. He said the FBI has also offered assistance.
The state police conducted a search of the area today by helicopter, Shaw said.
Shaw said Jessica Heeringa is about 5-foot-1, roughly 110 pounds, has blond shoulder length hair, sometimes wears wire-rimmed glasses and may have been wearing a blue-collared shirt with the station's name on it.
A Facebook page was set up to get information out and also has generated tips that are being turned over to police.
Carrie Mitchell, 37, of Norton Shores, doesn't know Heeringa but started the page, which had more than 4,300 likes Monday afternoon.
She said a candlelight vigil is scheduled Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Points Mall near the gas station where Heeringa disappeared.
"I'm a mom, I'm a sister, I'm a daughter. I'm a granddaughter," Mitchell said. "If something like this happened to me, I hope that my whole community would pull behind and support my family and be out there searching for me."
Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME (231-722-7463)
Contact Gina Damron: 313-223-4526 or email@example.com