Real Name: Jessica Lynn Heeringa
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Norton Shores, Michigan
Date: April 26, 2013
Occupation: Gas Station Clerk
Date of Birth: July 16, 1987
Weight: 105 pounds
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes.
Details: Jessica Heeringa, a twenty-five-year-old single mother, was abducted from the Exxon Mobile station in Norton Shores, Michigan, on April 26, 2013. Her last known sale was at 10:54pm, and a customer discovered the store abandoned at 11:07pm. The police were called, and her cigarettes and lighter were found next to the cash register. No money or any of her belongings were taken from the store, suggesting to police that she was taken by someone she knew. A small amount of blood was found outside the back door. It was later determined to be hers. A witness reported seeing a suspicious man and vehicle around the station shortly before she vanished. He was reportedly flirting with her. He has never been identified and the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: The possible suspect is described as a caucasian male in his thirties, approximately 6'0", with a medium to heavy build and brown or sandy blond hair. He was seen driving a silver minivan, possibly a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country. It was seen on a surveillance video about a mile away from the station at around 11:04pm.
Extra Notes: This case was uploaded to the Unsolved Mysteries website on April 24, 2015. The person interviewed in the video is Jessica's mother, Shelly. It also appeared on Disappeared.
Results: Unresolved. In April 2016, Jeffrey Willis was arrested for attempting to abducting a sixteen-year-old girl. In May 2016, he was also charged with the 2014 murder of Rebekah Bletsch after ballistics evidence connected him to the crime. Authorities at the time identified him as a person of interest in Jessica's disappearance since he owned a silver minivan similar to the one that was believed to have been used in it. He had apparently frequented the gas station that she vanished from. Finally, in September 2016, he was charged with her kidnapping and murder.
Based on credit card receipts, investigators discovered that Willis had visited the store at least fifteen times prior to Jessica's abduction. Phone records also placed him there just hours before it. When questioned, he told police that he was home at the time. However, phone records placed him near his grandfather’s house, which is close to the store. Following the abduction, he did not show up for work for several days.
Near the spot of blood behind the store, investigators found pieces of a laser sight for a gun. It matched one found in Willis’ van; it happened to be missing those same pieces. Its original owner identified it as belonging to the gun. Investigators also found a folder labeled "Vics" on Willis’ computer. In it were subfolders about Rebekah and Jessica. Finally, Willis’ cousin confessed to police that he had seen Jessica’s body at their grandfather’s house. He also claimed that he helped Willis dispose of it. For unknown reasons, he recanted his statement, but later pleaded no contest to helping dispose of it.
In May 2018, Willis went on trial for Jessica’s murder. He was found guilty on May 16; he faces another mandatory life sentence. Sadly, her body has never been found.
- Find Jessica Heeringa Facebook Page
- Jessica Heeringa on Wikipedia
- Jessica Heeringa on The Charley Project
- New lead triggers search for body of Jessica Heeringa
- Willis’ phone records, cousin’s interview lead to charges in Heeringa murder
- One year later: How investigators broke the Jeffrey Willis case
- Jeffrey Willis goes on trial for Jessica Heeringa's murder, abduction
- Jeffrey Willis found guilty of kidnapping, murdering Jessica Heeringa