WILLIAMSTON, South Carolina (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — Police are looking for a 23-year-old Williamston mother who has been missing for nearly two weeks.
Sheena Pierce, who has a 5-year-old little girl, was last seen August 19 outside her stepfather’s home on C Street in Williamston.
Her family says she would not leave her daughter, and that she wouldn’t go this long without talking with her.
Sheena’s stepfather, Jerry Allen, said his neighbor saw Sheena get into the back seat of a silver sport utility vehicle – possibly a Kia – with a dark stripe on the hood. He said he wasn’t home but his neighbor was out cutting the grass and saw her. The neighbor said Sheena got in the middle of the back seat where a man was sitting. She’s not been seen since.
Allen said it’s out of character for Sheena to just take off and not tell anyone where she’s going. “She wouldn’t do that to her family, she wouldn’t do that to her little girl,” he said.
According to Allen, Sheena recently left her boyfriend and moved into his [Allen’s] home to help care for him as he recovered from a stroke. “She is recently separated, but she has lived with that guy for eight years and he has never laid a hand on her. He sat right here with me last night and cried like a baby,” Allen said.
At first, Allen said, he wasn’t worried about Sheena thinking she’s an adult. But as days passed and her cell phone stopped ringing, he began to worry. He said the phone began going straight to voicemail.
Allen is concerned that someone else might have her cell phone and might be sending text messages pretending to be Sheena. He said he had gotten several text messages from her phone since she was last seen and he wasn’t sure it was her sending the messages. He said he received one text that read, “I’m in the mountains.”
When he questioned, “What are you doing in the mountains?” Allen said the response was, “I’m OK. I’m happy.” Allen said he didn’t know which mountains the message might be referring to. One of the messages said his stepdaughter wanted to be left alone.
“I just can’t believe it’s her,” he said. “It doesn’t sound like her. We kind of have our own little code and she just doesn’t talk like that. And she would not go this long without talking to her daughter.”
Allen said the little girl is staying with her father.
Williamston Police Department Captain Jay Grubbs said investigators can find no evidence that Sheena borrowed money or that she had credit/debit cards. It doesn’t appear, Grubbs said, that she had her own bank account.
“From everything we have heard, it is totally unlike her to just leave with no explanation. This remains a very active investigation, and we are looking for leads,” Cpt. Grubbs said.
Allen said he can’t think of any reason why his stepdaughter, the young woman whom he helped raise since she was a little girl, would willingly leave.
“I can’t help thinking something is wrong,” he said. “I can’t shake the feeling that she is either hurt or she is being held against her will.
Police are asking anyone with any information about this case to call (864) 847-7425.
Name: Sheena Pierce
Date Missing: August 19, 2011
Missing from: C Street in Williamston, South Carolina
Weight: About 140 pounds
Eye color: Blue
Hair color: Brown
Last seen wearing: Green T-shirt, jeans, and black flip-flops.