Update: All too often, stories about missing children or teens have unhappy endings. Thank goodness the story of Jessica Shepherd is an exception. A short time ago, the Johnstown Police Department revealed that Shepherd, sixteen, who was last seen Tuesday evening after sending messages urging a call to the cops, has been found safe. No details thus far beyond the most important one: She's no longer missing. Look below to see our previous coverage.
Original post, 5:57 a.m. January 24: As plenty of cynics have noticed, missing persons cases focused on attractive young women tend to get a lot more attention than ones involving people of any other description. But when it comes to Jessica Shepherd, a Johnstown teen last seen on Tuesday, there's a reason for urgency that goes beyond her photogenic nature. According to local authorities, her last message, sent via text and Facebook, read, "Call police."
Here's a flyer featuring two photos of Shepherd, age sixteen:
Shepherd's messages, sent around 8 p.m. on Tuesday from the 100 block of South Hayes in Johnstown, reportedly said she was with a man named "Dave" and she was frightened.
The listing for Shepherd on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website doesn't offer a description of "Dave," but it does mention that she may have been in the company of an "adult male."
A new Facebook page labeled Jessica Shepherd Missing Flyer Download notes that Johnstown police are currently following up on a couple of leads that came in last night. If you have any additional information about her whereabouts, you're encouraged to phone the department at 970-587-5555.
More from our News archive: "Photos: Avery Workman found safe -- but was she a runaway or drugging victim?"
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.