Family: 100% belief Heeringa will be returned

12:39 AM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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  • Suuporters attending vigil for missing Norton Shores woman Jessica Heeringa. (Photo by WZZM 13's Phil Dawson)
  • T-shirt worn by supporter of the search for Jessica Heeringa. (Photo by WZZM 13's Phil Dawson)

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WZZM) -- Members of Jessica Heeringa's family say they are not giving up hope of finding her.

Members of her family, friends and people they never met held a vigil for Heeringa Tuesday night in a grassy lot near the Exxon station where the 25-year-old mother worked.

Heeringa disappeared Friday night as her shift at the gas station was nearing its end.  A customer who discovered the station unattended told WZZM 13 News he found her purse and other belongings at the store before calling police.

On Sunday, Norton Shores Police announced they considered Heeringa's case an abduction.

Organizers of Tuesday's event say they were very careful to call Tuesday's gathering a "vigil," not a memorial or a wake.

"We have 100% faith and belief she is going to be returned to us."

Heeringa's family offered their gratitude to the people who attended.

"We can't thank you enough for turning out to support us as a family," says Diane Homrich, Heeringa's grandmother.

"It gives me a lot of comfort to know how many people are out there, how many people are trying to find her," says Shelly Heeringa, the missing woman's mother.

Homrich told people at the vigil the family has added hope after police released a composite sketch of a man who may have been involved in the abduction.

"Let's find this guy," she says. "We've got flyers with his picture now."

"This fills me with a little more hope we will find her faster," says Dakotah Dyer, Heeringa's fiance.

Heeringa and Dyer have a three-year-old son, Zeven, who is staying with his grandmother. Family members have not told the boy why his mother is not home. They are trying to keep things as normal as possible -- for as long as possible.

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