Man charged with murder in 2013 disappearance of Jessica Heeringa

- Authorities have charged a man with murder in the 2013 disappearance of a gas station clerk in western Michigan.

Jessica Heeringa disappeared from the gas station where she worked in Norton Shores, near Muskegon. The body of the 25-year-old woman hasn't been found. Investigators weren't able to break the mystery until Jeffrey Willis was arrested in May in a different case.

Willis was charged Tuesday with kidnapping and murder. He's already awaiting trial in two more cases in Muskegon County: the fatal shooting of a 36-year-old female jogger in 2014 and the attempted abduction of a teenage girl in April.

According to court documents, the teenage girl was lost and got into Willis' van. He offered to let her use his cell phone, but  that's when the documents say Willis locked the door and pulled a gun.

The 16-year-old managed to escape by unlocking the doors and jumping out of his moving van. She later gave police a description of the vehicle and pointed Willis out of a lineup.

When officers searched the van, they found several locked boxes and inside and handcuffs, chains, ropes, five syringes, a possible sedative, photos of females chained and bound, a ball gag, a mask and a bar with restraints attached.

You can read more about Willis' arrest here, when police first began investigating a connection to Heeringa's disappearance.

The Associated Press has left a message seeking comment from his lawyer.

FOX 2 will have more developments on this story tonight on FOX 2 News beginning at 5 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report 


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