The mysterious case of a missing woman from Vienna, West Virginia, has taken a disturbing turn…
The last time 28-year-old Gretchen Fleming was seen was when she was leaving the My Way Lounge & Restaurant in Parkersburg in the early morning hours of December 4. Her family reported her missing a week later, on December 12. Now police have named a person of interest in the case more than three weeks later.
Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board told The Parkersburg News and Sentinel he could not identify the person but shared that investigators learned the individual was “somebody she was seen with at the My Way Lounge” on late December 3 or early December 4. Board noted law enforcement was able to determine this person of interest thanks to the help of the establishment’s owners, staff members, and patrons who were there the night of Gretchen’s disappearance. He expressed his gratitude in an interview with West Virginia MetroNews, saying:
“People that have seen things, heard things or just think that something might help, they have not hesitated to reach out. There’s also been around the clock work for detectives to go through those leads.”
But what does it mean for there to be a person of interest? Do they believe someone did something to her??
Speaking with Fox News Digital, Parkersburg Police Lt. James Stalnaker gave a little more insight. He says Gretchen left the bar with an older man, and they believe she went to his home with him. However, the investigation into the unnamed male has been difficult. James explained:
“We know she left with him. We believe that she traveled back to his residence with him. He’s given inconsistent statements.”
Those “inconsistent statements” may make him hard to pin down — but they’re also a huge blinking light for cops. If he’s lying about her, it’s not a good sign for her safety. We mean, why would someone lie if nothing happened??
The lieutenant said the man confessed Gretchen was in his car at one point, “but he’s claiming she didn’t make it to his house,” adding:
“There is no indication they knew each other prior to this night.”
Gretchen, who doesn’t own a car, went to the bar with someone else, police told the outlet. James also mentioned she left her purse, which contained her cell phone, debit cards, and credit cards, at the place — and she never returned to the bar to grab them. Surveillance footage captured Gretchen and the man leaving My Way Lounge & Restaurant together and heading towards his vehicle. However, the cameras did not show them getting into his car. According to Fox News Digital, law enforcement found footage from other cameras that caught the vehicle driving about two miles to the guy’s house.
Cops have searched his home, car, and electronic devices, and they are waiting for the results from forensic testing and additional search warrants. In the meantime, they’ve also asked for Gretchen’s dental records. James said:
“It’s important that we have those items in the unfortunate circumstance she is located deceased.”
Hopefully, police find some answers as to what happened to Gretchen soon. While cops continue to investigate the case, the News and Sentinel reported that Matthew requested if someone was at the bar on December 3 or the next day to “please come forward and speak to our investigators.” He added to West Virginia MetroNews that this case has been alarming for everyone, saying:
“You have a young girl that no body has heard from, no body has seen, no social media activity. Things of that nature are very concerning. Finding Gretchen is paramount to anything else. That’s what we’re focused on.”
If you have any information, you can reach out to the lead detective James Zimmerman at 304-424-1072 or the Parkersburg Police Department at 304-424-8444.
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