Discussion in '2010's Missing' started by Greater Than, Sep 30, 2017.
Just checking in hoping for something...anything at all.
I was just thinking of Jenna today.
I’d like to see a podcaster do a series on this case.
Me too! Such a strange case and confusing to me how there is so little info shared, no push from her family or even friends to keep her name in the media and case active and what appears to be no active investigation into people who have been less than forthcoming and cooperative from L.E.
You mean a new one? There are several postcasts about her missing case.
Do you have any links? I’m definitely interested in them.
Jenna's disappearance brought me here 2 years ago and I've spent some time away from Websleuths, but now I'm back again to check in. I cannot believe that in all this time there is no new information. So so sad
Interview transcript, September 19, 2017
CNN.com - Transcripts
EPISODE 105: Jenna Van Gelderen
And my transcript (at least the important parts) of it
Leon van Gelderen: Well, our son who lives in ???? couldn’t get in touch with my daughter Saturday morning and he came over later Saturday morning, he found the TV on which was very odd, my daughter would never leave and leave the TV on and a –let’s say- tapestry that was on the wall, an Egyptian tapestry, and it was pulled out of the frame, wasn’t even taking out of from the back, the glass was somehow cut, and it was taken out from the front. Totally bizarre.
Unfortunately the police handling of her case has been less than desirable from day one. They didn’t do any forensic investigation on the house or my wife’s car that was been driven by my daughter.
In August 2017, 25 years old Jenna van Gelderen was housesitting for her parents in the Druid Hills section of Atlanta GA . Jenna was last seen on August 18th and had a phone conversation with her friend in the early morning hours of the 19th. What happened after that remains a mystery. On the morning of the 19th Jenna’s older brother stopped by the house to find that the doors were locked and both the TV and lights were on inside. Jenna and her car were both missing. Ever since Jenna disappeared her family has been struggling to get LE to look for her. Early on in the investigation they had even reported that they found Jenna but it was just a tragic mistake.
Marissa: I was relieved when I saw the news that she had been was found. Then baffled when the story was retracted. How can this kind of mistakes happen? How can a family have been told that there loved one in found and it was all a mistake?
We know that some people are at a higher risk for being victimized, and those reasons can vary from things like life style choices to social economic status. Jenna ‘s family believes that she was at a higher risk but for a different reason. I spoke to Jenna’s dad Leon van Gelderen for this episode. He explained to me that Jenna is on the autism spectrum and is high functioning. Her parents have been worried about some of the people that she had been hanging out with because she was often a bit too trusting of others who may not have the best of intentions . It was a struggle for her parents to on one hand wanting to protect and also respecting her wishes and boundaries. Jenna had lived at home with her parents’ until the spring of 2017 when she began to rent a room from a male acquaintance. She still maintained a close contact with her parents typically speaking to then on a daily basis. Leon told me more about his daughter Jenna.
Leon van Gelderen: She was 25 years old. She had been living at home with her parent until about April of 2017, moved out and was renting a room from a roommate in an apartment. She had completed two years of college and got a certificate from Gwinnet Tech, and office administration.
She had high level functioning autism which created a lot of social issues for her as far as trusting people and making contact with people, through social situations, was less then optimal and she was working at a pet supply store for about 4 years until April she was accused of stealing some money from the store that got resolved with just an misdemeanor.
She was taken care of our elderly cat and housesitting when she disappeared. We were in Canada and she was here in our house for about three days and the car was gone she was gone. She loved pets. As I said her friends were less then optimal some of the people she was hanging out with did have criminal histories. She was working part-time as a nanny had gotten jobs through a placement service.
Marissa: In August the 15th 2017, Jenna’s parents left for a vacation to Canada. Before they left they set up a plan for Jenna to house sit and feed their elderly cat.
Jenna’s older brother was to stop by in the mornings to give the cat it’s morning medications and then a cat sitter would come later on the day to give the cat it’s afternoon medications. Just a few days later, on the 18th, Jenna had been in contact with both her mom and her brother, that day. At one point she left her parents’ house to return to her apartment. She took her mom’s car instead of her own because the insurance had lapsed on her car. Some of Jenna’s friends were at the apartment when she stopped by there that evening . They reported that she left around 11 pm to go meet with a man that we call her ex-boyfriend. He claims that he broke up with Jenna on the evening of the 18th, but we delve into that later. The last known person to see Jenna is this ex-boyfriend. Jenna’s family has learned that during that evening the ex-boyfriend was not using his own phone to contact Jenna. We know that Jenna made it home that night because she spoke to one of her friends in the early morning hours of the 19th.
Leon van Gelderen: She had one female friend in NC that she had been texting with, in contact with continuously, who was the last person to talk to her on 1.30 in the morning. She’s been helpful, reconstructing things.
Marissa: Around 2 a.m. she texted the same friend that she had spoken to on the phone, and said that she was “lying down” The wording of this text message seemed strange to her friend. It wasn’t something that Jenna would typically wright.
Another piece of information that they have been able to gather that supports the believe that Jenna did make it back to her parent’s house that night is that her Facebook account was accessed from their home IP-address .
Jenna’s brother, Wil, stopped by around 10.30 a.m. on the morning of the 19th and he noticed that the doors were locked but when he went inside the TV and lights were on. He also noticed that Jenna hadn’t fed the cat. Jenna’s car was also gone. The day before she had been driving her mum’s car but that was still in the garage. When the cat sitter came by in the afternoon Jenna still hadn’t returned, so the sitter, who didn’t have a key, attempted to call Jenna but got no answer. Will stopped by again at 11.30 that night, to check on his sister, but she still hadn’t returned. Will spoke to their parents and let them know that he was concerned about Jenna. On the 20th they decided to call Jenna’s ex- boyfriend from Canada and ask if he knew anything . He informed them that he was home alone on the evening of the 18th. Will continued to go over to the house to see if Jenna had returned and to care for the cat. This is when he realized that there was a world war ll era Egyptian tapestry missing from the home. This had been on the wall in a frame. Someone had removed it from the frame by cutting out the glass in the front, not taking the back of the frame. This is one of the bizarre aspects of Jenna’s case. Why would someone take that but leave many valuable items behind. I wondered if this tapestry was worth a lot of money.
Leon van Gelderen: It turns out we found similar ones on the internet for sale that are only a few hundred dollars. Was a souvenir that our grandfather brought back from Egypt in World War ll. Why somebody took it? I don’t’ know.
Marissa: It was also on this day that Will filed a missing person’s report for his sister. Officers from DeKalb County Police Department came out the house to take the report. They looked around and then left. When Jenna’s parents learned that she was missing they decided to cut their vacation short an arrived back in Atlanta on the 21th. While they were still in Canada they decided to contact the police department again and requested that they come back to the house to check for fingerprints. But unfortunately the Police Department waited quite a while to come back and do this.
Leon van Gelderen: We called them from Canada after my son reported her missing. He waited 24 hours and reported her missing on Sunday morning. I begged them to have a forensic team go through the house and the car before we returned home because I was concerned that contaminating the evidence, and they refused to do so. As I told you in the beginning they just don’t think she was missing. And about until almost a month later that they finally fingerprinted the car for fingerprints and as far as I know was inconclusive. The house, I collected items in the house that clearly didn’t come from my daughter and finally turned them over to the police when they asked for it about 6 weeks later.
Marissa: We know that Jenna had been driving her mom’s car shortly before she disappeared. Her family also wanted the car to be fingerprinted because there were signs that someone else had been in the car with her.
Leon van Gelderen: She told three different friends and one of them was in a tape recorded conversation that she was driving my wife’s car because the insurance had lapsed on her car. We don’t know who was in the car with her but they the passenger seat was pushed back at appeared that somebody fairly tall had been in the car when she brought the car back here. But we don’t know on what point.
Marissa: Jenna’s ex-boyfriend was interviewed by LE and he told them that Jenna had showed up on the evening of the 18th and he broke up with her. What he told the police send them looking in a different direction.
Leon van Gelderen: Unfortunately the police handling of her case has been less then desirable from day one. They didn’t do any forensic investigation of the house or my wife’s car that was been driven by my daughter the night before that was in the garage. The main issue was that they interviewed a boyfriend who claimed he had broken up with her the night before and for whatever reason he told the police that Jenna was a prostitute and a drug addict. Neither of which had been confirmed by anybody. They ran with that and told us the first couple day’s that they had identified her on Backpage. What happened was: a woman, who not even was a detective, just went on Backpage and looked for any woman that had the first name Jenna and said that must be her. And then they called us four days later and said she was been arrested for solicitation and which been processed. When I didn’t hear anything from them I called the next day and they said oh we made a mistake it wasn’t your daughter it was just some woman that was using the name Jenna on Backpage. That was just one of many mistakes that were made.
Marissa: When Jenna had moved out from her parents’ house back in the spring she wouldn’t tell her parents where she was living. So after she disappeared they had to track down that information to.
Leon van Gelderen; Our daughter wouldn’t give us the address, she wanted total privacy when she moved out. We did get that information from a friend of hers. Early on I contacted the roommate and he said “she’s paid up, there is no reason for you to come over here and I’m going to throw her stuff outside at the end of the month, goodbye.” Now if that isn’t suspicious I don’t know what is?
Marissa: There are some jurisdictional issues in this case since Jenna went missing in one jurisdiction but her apartment and other important areas related to this case are in another jurisdiction.
Leon van Gelderen: The other thing in this particular case that’s really frustrating is our daughter went missing from our house, which is in DeKalb county, but all the events that occurred, places that are significant are all in the city of Atlanta. She had an apartment in the city of Atlanta. They never searched her apartment.
The detective went over there, came back; roommate said she hadn’t paid rent and he is throwing all her stuff outside. So she detective gathered up her stuff, brought it over here. There was no bedding in there, no pillows, no sheets, no noting. I asked them I said how could you not searched the apartment if there is no bedding. So they went back and asked the roommate “oh, she was sleeping on the floor, with nothing. There was no bed there. To you and I this would sound suspicious, apparently to them is wasn’t . They said no judge is going to give us a search warrant just based on that. Go figure that out.
Marissa: Even though Jenna’s roommate hasn’t been very forthcoming there isn’t any evidence suggesting that she disappeared from the apartment.
Leon van Gelderen: Right now it doesn’t appear that she went missing from the apartment, which is what I had feared. We don’t know for sure actually. We know she was here at some point on Friday night and early Saturday morning. We don’t know If she went back to the apartment at all.
“One thing we haven’t touched on that is interesting about this case and I think that other parents in this situation need to be aware off". Because I had access to her phone, T-Mobile was able to let me ghost a new phone with her phone number. And my son who’s technology savvy was able to change all her passwords and get in into all her Google and G-mail account, everything, and we turned all that information over to the police, because I didn’t know how much information Google collects on somebody including timeline, recorded chat, you name it. There was a trove on information. And when we gave it to the police they said well you got it illegally, we can’t look at it, your daughter might sue you over this.
I’m an attorney and to this day --to this day!-- the information that we have given them, they keep ignoring it. They had hundreds of pages that we have given them that we got from online sources. I’ve been reading enough other cases where other parents have done the same thing and access the account right away cause you can pull it up online and right away see who were the last calls and it’s essential.. most people don’t realize that if the phone has ‘location’ turned on that Google is tracking the phone and has a timeline…and that information is invaluable and we had that information and gave it to the police. As recently -as a couple off week ago- they were still questioning whether I owned the account, although we gave them all the information. “
Jenna has high-functioning autism. According to her mom: Her autism stands in the way in a different way. She comes across like you and me when you see her. However, she`s quite vulnerable to people. She sometimes does not read social cues. She is a target for predators.
Here is another podcast
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQf3G26UEJ0 BrainScratch Searchlight October 4, 2017
Bumping for Jenna. I just hope something breaks in this case so that Jenna can have justice. It seems her family is still struggling to get the correct attention from LE on the case. Jenna’s story is one I can’t forget!
What does everyone think is the best next step in this case? It seems the family is running out of options other than waiting for someone who knows something to speak up. Are there other cases that have been able to get a push after almost two years of nothing? How does that happen?
It is so important i believe to get the names of the guests that came over on the 17th, after being there for a few hours they would have possibly seen the artwork, knew the layout of the home, knew when her parents were due back and other important personal details.
I believe this is the starting point, the missing artwork has to have some connection with Jenna's disappearance. It would have taken time ( which they knew they had ) and some skill to remove it ( picture framing experience ) i don't believe they took it for financial purposes, because of the this the poi may be more ( in the shadows ) and possibly would have been already interviewed by le, and could have used all these undesirable characters in Jenna's life to his advantage. Not your everyday perp knows how to take a print from a frame without damaging it, could be someone older.
These are just my thoughts ( sorry to upset anybody ) i couldn't imagine this happening to one of my family members, lets hope we find answers soon.
LVG has a new post on his Facebook as of June 15th which is of positive interest to this case. I don't think we are allowed to discuss what is on there, but just to say go look? I don't see his Facebook page being linked anywhere before so I'm playing it safe as to TOS.
Perhaps get a documentary crew to interview the police department? :wink:
Thanks....I'm not sure where this is leading to, besides the police department going to put their own house in order.....
We don't know that the artwork was undamaged. (It wasn't actually a print, was it? Wasn't it a piece of fabric?)
I'm really sorry to say that I don't hold out a lot of hope for this case to get resolution. Whether LE just doesn't have enough clues/evidence to go on (doubtful, IMO) or they just don't have the resources to dedicate to a non-high priority case, it's hard to imagine where they go from here. I hope that I'm wrong, truly. But you never know - cases like Tara Grinstead and Lindsey Baum where I had given up have proved me wrong!
Was the tapestry large enough to wrap a body in? That’s the only explanation that I can think of as to why it would be missing. Tapestries can be quite large.
For those members who didn't had time to read the information provided in #2, 3 and 4.
Tapestry(more of an Egyptian khayamiya, as a WS member suggested) missing (It was an Egyptian tapestry / buffet cover from around WWII.) Brother says: Never had been appraised so don't know the worth, but it's a very odd thing to take. Per VI (brother) - Thread #1, post #53 It's from my Grandfather / WWII era. It's not something we ever really talked about. But I do know that it was quite faded, and had a lot of birds on it. Retrieving it isn't so much important, but rather if anyone had tried to sell it to a pawnshop / craigslist in the past few days. Per VI - Thread #1, post #154
The tapestry that is missing is part of a set 2x end table covers and a buffet cover that was framed. Per VI - Thread #1, post #131. Approx. 2 feet by five feet (approx. 61 cm x 152 cm)
I just wonder: Why would you go through all that trouble to get a tapestry out a frame and put the body in there if bedding was available in the house in a few different rooms?
I agree Bit of Hope, there had to be bedding in the house that would be easily accessible as opposed to taking the tapestry out of a glass frame and rehanging it.
From the help find Jenna website Help Find Jenna Van Gelderen
Sunday August 19 will be one year that our daughter Jenna, 25 went missing while house sitting for us at our house in Druid Hills. Police have not had any luck in discovering what happened due to many mistakes and carelessness by DPD (neighbors never even interviewed).There is no reason to believe Jenna left voluntarily with all digital and phone data ending Saturday morning.
To raise attention to this ongoing and unsolved crime and remember Jenna there will be a vigil and community gathering Sunday August 19 at Shearith Israel synagogue at 2 p.m.
I wish you all the best family Van Gelderen, almost a year gone. Still hope Jenna will be found.