Metro Atlanta woman missing for five years, family still seeking answers

Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 12:20 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Five years after a metro Atlanta woman disappeared from her parents’ home, her family says there are just as few answers today as back then.

They’re pushing for more resources to be dedicated to Georgia missing person cases.

“So last year, we actually mourned Jenna.” Will Van Gelderen paused, “We as a family made a decision kind of expecting

she wasn’t coming back.”

August 19th, 2017 was the last time Will Van Gelderen heard from his sister, Jenna.

“She was sweet, she was loving, she loved animals,” he explained.

The 25-year-old was pet sitting at her parents’ Druid Hills home on Oakdale Road. At some point, she left the home. It’s unclear what happened next.

Jenna was also on the Autism spectrum. It’s why her family believes she was more vulnerable.

“She was just starting to get a grasp on her adulthood. Moving out of the house was a big step for her,”

Weeks after her disappearance, police found her car. Dekalb County detectives also confirmed her last cell phone ping was

in the Fairburn area. There aren’t any named suspects but relatives said they learned someone texted Jenna that night, pressuring

her to leave. A sentimental family tapestry also went missing.

Currently, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) is offering a $50,000 reward in the case. But the agency

confirmed with CBS46, there are neither new tips or new updates.

While the Van Gelderen’s have grieved Jenna, they believe the grief would not be as heavy if more resources and communication

were dedicated to the 250 unsolved missing persons cases across the state.

“[It’s] frustrating. You know, we definitely hoped there would be more at this point.” Adding, “we just hope

at the state level, we can start seeing more changes in how missing persons cases are handled.”

If you have any information, reach out to Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.