WILLIAMSTON, South Carolina (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Williamston Police Department Captain James Grubbs said during a phone conversation Tuesday that the disappearance of Sheena Colleen Pierce is “totally atypical behavior” for this young mother.
Sheena is the 23-year-old mother of a 5-year-old daughter who went missing August 19 from outside her stepfather, Jerry Allen’s, home at 104 C Street in Williamston, South Carolina. The home is located near the Big Creek Watershed One Reservoir and is in a rural area surrounded by trees and farmland (see slideshow, left side bar, with map, photo of home, and additional photos of Sheena).
According to Capt. Grubbs, Sheena was living with and caring for her stepfather who has a medical condition. She was also caring for her 5-year-old daughter at the time she vanished. Both her stepfather and daughter were home at the time of her disappearance, he said. Sheena made no mention to anyone that she was planning a trip, Grubbs said.
Asked if police suspect foul play Capt. Grubbs said, “There is nothing to show there was foul play, however, there are some aspects of the case that definitely raise suspicions. I can’t talk about some of those things but I can say there were no significant indicators to show she would leave on her own and not contact her family.”
Capt. Grubbs confirmed that on the day Sheena went missing her neighbor saw her get into a vehicle outside her home at around noon.
The neighbor described the vehicle as a silver 4-door SUV with a black stripe on the hood. Grubbs said no make or model was provided by the witness. However, media reports have indicated the vehicle may have been a KIA. The neighbor said multiple people were in the vehicle when Sheena got in.
Asked if she got into the back seat of the vehicle, as has been reported by media, Capt. Grubbs said that’s not clear but that he spoke with a witness again this morning and the witness remains certain there were multiple people in the vehicle before Sheena got in.
Police have spoken with Sheena’s ex-boyfriend, friends, family, acquaintances, and co-workers about her disappearance, Grubbs said, and all of them say this is not like her. She would not just leave her family without any contact. She wouldn’t leave her five-year-old little girl, they said.
Capt. Grubbs confirmed her ex is not a person of interest, he is very concerned for Sheena’s safety, he is cooperating with police in every way he can, and he is now caring for the couple’s little girl. News reports indicate the couple was together for eight years before they separated.
Asked when the couple separated Capt. Grubbs said it was over the past few months and that since their separation, Sheena has been living with her stepfather who has a medical condition. He confirmed he did not yet know why the couple separated and said, “It is her boyfriend, they were never married, and it was an amicable separation. I do not know why they separated as of yet.”
Capt. Grubbs said he is not aware that Sheena was dating or had a boyfriend at the time of her disappearance. “She is a home-body,” he said. “She stays home caring for him [stepfather, Allen] and her little girl.”
He said that about a month ago Sheena and her sister were involved in a car accident where they were both “somewhat” injured. Grubbs did not go into detail on their injuries and said Sheena’s car is broken down as a result of the accident and is sitting in Allen’s driveway. Because her car was broken down, Grubbs said she did not have transportation.
The neighborhood where Sheena was living at the time of her disappearance was described by Capt. Grubbs as a small rural neighborhood. Asked if there were surveillance cameras anywhere near the area where she vanished, he said no.
Asked if police were searching for Sheena Capt. Grubbs said, “There’s nothing actively going on because we don’t know where to look.” He said they don’t know where they’d begin the search since she left in a vehicle and there has been no sighting of her.
It has been reported that Sheena’s stepfather has received text messages from her. Capt. Grubbs said the two have a certain way in which they communicate and the texts were written differently, leading him to believe they may have been written and sent by someone else.
Capt. Grubbs confirmed that the U.S. Marshalls will assist police in tracing the GPS on Sheena’s cell phone. He further confirmed that Sheena has not used her Facebook page or any other social networking sites. She has not used email. No Facebook page has been set up regarding Sheena’s disappearance.
There were no computers in her stepfather, Allen’s home, Grubbs said.
Asked how family members are reacting to the news that Sheena is missing, Capt. Grubbs said that her mother is holding it together the best she can, but that she is highly concerned for the safety of her daughter. She is talking with police and assisting in any way she can. She is distributing flyers, and Grubbs said flyers are everywhere in town.
Message to Sheena:
Capt. Grubbs asks Sheena if she is able to read this article, to please contact their department so police can let her family know she is alright. Their phone number is (864) 847-7425.
Message to potential witnesses:
Capt. Grubbs is also asking anyone who has information about Sheena’s disappearance, or who saw the silver SUV with a black stripe on the hood on the day she vanished, Friday, August 19, to contact police.
UPDATED DESCRIPTION (provided by Williamston Police):
Name: Sheena Colleen Pierce
Last seen: August 19, 2011
Address: 104 C Street, Williamston, SC 29697
Weight: 110 pounds
Eye color: Green
Hair color: Brown
Skin tone: Fair
Last seen wearing: Green t-shirt, blue jeans, black flip-flops
Possible vehicle description: Silver SUV, 4 door
Williamston Police Case No.: 201104224
Police contact: Williamston Police Department, 100 Town Square Drive, Williamston, SC 29697 – (864) 847-7425
Sheena Colleen Pierce: Police looking for missing So. Carolina mom