Missing Gas Station Attendant Case: Video, 911 Call Released
(NORTON SHORES, Mich.) — A gray minivan being sought by police in connection with the disappearance of Jessica Heeringa was captured on surveillance video around the time police believe the gas station attendant might have been abducted.
The newly released video shows the van traveling northbound, away from the Norton Shores, Mich., Exxon station, where the 25-year-old mother was working alone on the late shift Friday.
The surveillance video taken from a nearby business is the first glimpse police have received of the minivan that witnesses had reported seeing in the area around the time of Heeringa’s disappearance.
Norton Shores Police Chief Daniel Shaw told ABC News that the Exxon station was not outfitted with security cameras at the time of Heeringa’s disappearance, making witness tips crucial to the investigation.
The driver of the van was described by witnesses as a white male, 6 feet tall with a medium to heavy build, Shaw said. The man was last seen wearing a bright red or orange sweatshirt, according to police.
Police have also released the 911 call from a concerned customer who alerted authorities around 11:15 p.m. Friday after he found the gas station eerily empty.
“There’s nobody here. There’s a car here. There’s another car out in front, but it’s very suspicious why there’s nobody here,” the caller said.
The man told the dispatcher he tried yelling and walked around the building, but he saw no signs of an employee.
Police said Heeringa’s last transaction took place at 10:55 p.m., leaving a small window of time between when she was last known to be in the store and when she was reported missing.
“There is no sign of a struggle in the store, so it’s possible she knew who the person was as a customer or as an acquaintance,” Shaw said.
Heeringa’s purse and keys were found inside the store, he said, and robbery didn’t appear to be a motive since the store’s cash drawer was left untouched.
Investigators have interviewed and cleared several persons of interest, Shaw said, including Heeringa’s fiance, with whom she has a 3-year-old son.
As tips pour in from around the country, Shelly Heeringa, Jessica’s mother, said she won’t stop searching until she brings her daughter home.
“You just want to find her,” she said. “I don’t like to think about what may have happened.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio