The Ottumwa Courier

December 5, 2013

Jessica? Please come home

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA --- A sleepless mother is begging other parents for help finding her daughter.

Parent Jennifer Schwab of Ottumwa found out her daughter, Jessica, 17, had gotten into some trouble at school. She was suspended for a week.

Mom went to the school, pulled up out front --- the daughter went out the back. She hopped into a friend's car and hasn't been seen or heard from since then. That was Monday outside Cardinal High School.

"She knew she'd be in trouble with me over [acting out at school]," cried Jennifer, "but I want her home, her siblings want her home. We're all worried and we want her home before anything happens to her!"

The mother has filed a report with police, and they are being helpful, she said. But because classmates come from Agency, Eldon and Ottumwa, the girl could be in any one of those towns with a friend.

Mom told the Courier by cellphone on Thursday afternoon, "I'm driving from town to town to town."

The police, she said, have put the suspected runaway on a missing juvenile site, but Jennifer isn't sure how many parents look at that. They may have her daughter in their home or next door, all the while telling them some sort of believable story about why she isn't at school this week.

The Ottumwa Police Department confirms they are handling the case, and that there is an active missing person report. Information that might help reunite this family may be shared with the OPD at 641-683-0661.

To follow reporter Mark Newman on Twitter, see @CourierMark