The last time Jenna Van Gelderen, a disabled adult, was seen was on August 18. Now, months later, her car has turned up on the side of the road, unfortunately answering few questions about her disappearance.
According to NBC, Van Gelderen was house-sitting her parents' home in Druid Hills, Atlanta shortly before vanishing. A friend planned to meet her on August 19, but arrived to the home only to find it empty. Jenna's car was also missing.
"He found the house in a bit of disarray," said Leon Van Gelderen, Jenna's father. "The TV was on and things were messy. Her suitcase was gone, but items she would have taken with her, if she had left, were still there. Her phone charger, shoes, cosmetics."
A World War II tapestry, worth very little, was also missing from a frame on the wall.
Jenna's family waited to see if they would hear from her, but reported her missing after a few days of silence.
On September 5, Jenna's dark blue, 2010 Mazda 6 sedan was found parked along a road in northwest Atlanta. A car driving by had noticed the car after seeing information about the missing woman on Facebook. Police are not currently answering questions about the state of the car or what was found in it.
"It's a scary situation for us, because if someone came to our home and took her, they obviously know where we live," Leon said. "We really believe someone out there knows more than they are letting on, and it's time to come forward."
The Van Gelderen family now says that some of the information being spread about Jenna is innacurate, including official police reports: “My son never said his sister was a prostitute – never,” Leon said. “It was a disgruntled ex-boyfriend that said that."
Police reports also indicate that Jenna had gone missing before, another point that Leon disputes: “Never, absolutely never - never disappeared,” Leon said. “If she ever went to South Carolina, that’s the furthest she's ever gone. We knew where she was going, who she was going to be with and she was always in contact with us.”
The family has also hired a private investigator to help crack the case.
“She's very gullible, susceptible, enticed very easily and she doesn't perceive danger the same way the rest of us do,” Leon added of his autistic daughter.
Jenna Van Gelderen is described as 4'11" and weighing 140 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on the situation is being asked to call the DeKalb Police Department at (770) 724-7600. A Facebook page named "Help Find Jenna Van Gelderen" has been set up to help spread information about the case.
[Photo: Van Gelderen Family]
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