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Emelene VanDyke missing since last weekend from Holland

1:54 AM, Feb 24, 2013   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - Police say a missing Holland woman visited a casino right before she disappeared.

Emelene VanDyke was last seen on Valentine's Day.

Detectives say she took a significant amount of money out of her bank account, bought a new car, and may have been heading on a retreat in the Traverse City area, where electronics are banned.

Investigators determined Saturday that VanDyke visited Gun Lake Casino near Wayland before she disappeared, and she took no personal belongings with her from her home.

At this time, Police abd relatives do not suspect foul play in VanDyke's disappearance.

"This is very abnormal," said her close friend of 19 years, Courtney Turpin.

"Very much out of character," said next-door neighbor Laurie

"It's definitely out of character for her," said Edward Sims.

Sims lives above VanDyke in their two-story home.

He was the last person to see, and be contacted by her.

"She even gave me a text that she would be back Tuesday," said Sims.

Sims says she left February 14th, on what she called, an electronics-free trip.

"Went on a retreat with a friend," he said.

Holland investigators say VanDyke was due back at work the following week.

When she didn't show up, her employer called her ex-husband, who called police.

"I didn't notice anything different about her, she didn't seem like she was upset about anything. She was just herself, Emelene, joyful," said Sims.

Police say before VanDyke left, she withdrew a significant amount of money from her bank and purchased a 2013 gray, 4-door, 2013 Hyundai Accent with license plate #CGE8162.

Surveillance photos at the dealership show VanDyke alone and not acting suspiciously or under duress.

Her ex-husband told WZZM 13 the car is way too small to fit their three boys, who range from pre-teen to teenager.

Her ex-husband believes she left on her own terms, but he, and Turpin, are questioning why.

"I had a girls' night with her and two other girls from high school on the second of February so I saw her two-and-a- half weeks ago. Everything seemed fine," said Turpin.

Turpin says if VanDyke had some issues in the past, they've been resolved.

"There's been some things here and there and maybe if it all just got too much all at once, but nothing that I know of," she said.

They all hope she'll return safely to her three sons soon.

"She's always doing things with her boys, she's a really good mom, she's like a soccer mom," said Sims.

Friends and neighbors say VanDyke has a good relationship with her ex-husband, and he says the same.

He told WZZM 13, "We have a good relationship, we do it for the kids."

Police believe she may have headed to Traverse City last week.










VanDyke is described as having sandy blond hair and hazel-colored eyes, 5'7" tall, about 200lbs.

























Anyone with information is asked to call the Holland Department of Public Safety at 616-355-1100 or email

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