Police no closer to finding Jessica Heeringa

8:00 PM, Oct 5, 2013   |    comments
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  • "Jessica's Bear" sits on the back of a motorcycle that rides from Norton Shores to Muskegon Saturday
  • "Jessica's Bear" sits on the back of a motorcycle that rides from Norton Shores to Muskegon Saturday

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - It's been over five months since 26 year-old Jessica Heeringa disappeared, and Norton Shores Police say they are no closer to finding her. Now her family says it's time to ramp up the investigation.

Heeringa vanished on the night of April 26th, at the Exxon gas station in Norton Shores, where she worked. Norton Shores Police Chief Daniel Shaw told WZZM 13 Saturday there are no new leads in the investigation, but says his department gets about 40 calls a week related to the Heeringa case.

Now friends and volunteers from all over Michigan are doing their part to keep the search alive. 200 motorcycles left the same Exxon station Jessica Disappeared from, driving across the Lakeshore and arriving at the Hot Rod Harley Davidson in Muskegon.

"If Jessica was here, that's where we would put her today," said Theresa Smith, pointing to the back seat of her husband's motorcycle. "This is her bear, and he's riding for Jessica today."

Hot Rod Harley Davidson was one stop on their fundraising ride to Cancun Connection in Muskegon. The family hopes to raise enough money for private investigators.

"We've put a lot of time and hard work into this and we really want her to come home," said Smith.

Smith doesn't even know the Heeringa family, and either do the three people who organized the fundraiser. But they all share something.

"I'm a mom," said Smith.

"I've got a daughter the same age as Jessica, if something was to happen to my daughter, I would pray that this would happen for her," said DJ Brown of Grand Haven, who helped organized the motorcycle ride.

"I'm about the same age as her...I have four children and she has a little boy and he's not going to see his mom until she's home," said Kayla Lade, who started a Facebook page.


Lade travelled with her mom Karlene Bradford from Midland, about 3.5 hours away to be here. Saturday was their first time meeting Jessica's grandma and the rest of the family.

"I couldn't imagine the pain the mom and grandma is going through," said Bradford.

"This is what keeps us going, people like this, complete strangers," said Jessica's grandmother, Diane Homrich.

"When people come together like this huge group, it just reinforces our hopes and prayers that's she's hanging on and she's still out there," said Homrich.

Chief Shaw says the task force has disbanded, right now there's just two police detectives working the case.

Anyone who thinks they might be able to help should call Norton Shores Police at 231-733-2691 Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME.

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