As of April 30, the FBI currently has 65 missing and kidnapped person cases they are diligently working on from around the country; however, they have also offered their assistance to the Norton Shores Police Department in the missing Michigan mom’s case there as well, according to WZZM13.com.
Unfortunately for Jessica Heeringa and her family, which includes a three-year-old son named Zevyn and a grandmother named Diane Homrich, local law enforcement and the state police in Michigan have not taken them up on the offer of assistance. And that could influence the end result of this case.
Heeringa disappeared from her Exxon Mobile gas station job in Norton Shores on Friday night just minutes before she was to have locked the door for the evening at 11:30 p.m. and returned to her home, where she lives with her child and his father, Dakotah Quail-Dyer.
The search for her and the suspect police believe may have abducted her has been fruitless thus far, which has reached the critical 72-hour timeline as of Monday night. And despite the fact that four law enforcement agencies in the area and the state have been brought together as a task force in the case, there continues to be no apprehension of a suspect, let alone a recovered Jessica–or even the name of the man believed to have taken her.
The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit 2 lends a hand to local law enforcement and state agencies with time-sensitive cases involving crimes against persons, like the Jessica Heeringa case in Michigan.
But if the FBI isn’t called into the case in a timely manner they lose the edge of developing leads and processing evidence that could potentially mean the difference between a successful recovery of a victim and a case that never receives closure, like the Lauren Spierer missing person case that riveted the nation almost two years ago, which has still resulted in no body or suspect.
Jurisdictional and territorial issues can arise that hinders the success of finding missing persons and kidnap victims in time to save them, but that should never occur in this day and age of course.
And “linkage blindage” between two law enforcement agencies can hinder investigations as well, when one agency refuses (or neglects) to work with another in sharing vital information.
In the missing Michigan mom case WZZM13.com reports the latter isn’t happening, as the Norton Shores Police Department is working together with the Michigan State Police, the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office, the Muskegon Police Department and even the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office on this missing Michigan mom case.
The FBI has much more resources at their disposal–and specifically trained personnel–than any local or state law enforcement agency when it comes to missing person and kidnap cases, however. But none of that helps the victim if the agency’s offer of assistance is rebuffed until it is too late. And a 72-hour time window has come and gone in this case, making it imperative that the FBI be invited into this investigation asap.
© 2013 Radell Smith
National Criminal Profiles Examiner Radell Smith holds a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics, and she has successful experience in profiling serial and other homicide cases. You can reach her at TheRealRadellSmith@hotmail.com
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