Kidnapping could connect to Heeringa case

Posted at 11:19 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 08:57:16-04

An arrest has some wondering if it could be a possible break in the case of missing mother Jessica Heeringa, who vanished from her job on the west side of the state three years ago.

Police spent several hours Tuesday searching a home in Muskegon Township, and 46-year old Jeffrey Willis is now in custody for a separate kidnapping.

Investigators are looking for any connection to missing 25-year-old mother Jessica Heeringa, a gas station clerk who vanished from her job in Norton Shores in April of 2013.

Right now, detectives are saying there is no direct link.

Jail records show Willis is facing a kidnapping charge after a lost 16-year-old girl looking for a ride got into his car, and he wouldn't let her out - until she managed to jump out of the moving car.

Investigators searched his house and also his vehicle, a silver Town and Country minivan, the same make and color seen in surveillance video leaving the Exxon gas station in Norton Shores where Heeringa had been working.

Scene photos show the mother's coat and bag in the back room, looking like she was ready to close up when someone snatched her.

For now, the search for answers continues.