It has been more than two years since Jenna Van Gelderen disappeared while housesitting for her parents at their home in DeKalb County. The clues left behind are perplexing and her family has been left with no answers as to where she could be – but that could all change with the premiere of a new Oxygen series profiling the missing woman’s case.
The online series “Searching For” will re-examine the cases of three different women who disappeared mysteriously. Along with new interviews and video, viewers can check out timelines, crime scene photos, maps and more on www.oxygen.com/searching-for. “These are missing persons’ cases we believe (the viewer) can help solve,” states host Stephanie Bauer in the digital series’ trailer.
Jenna Van Gelderen, who was 25-years-old at the time of her disappearance, was housesitting at a home in the Druid Hills area of DeKalb County in 2017. On August 19, she texted a friend that she was going to lie down around 2 a.m. That was the last time anyone heard from the missing woman. The next day, when a veterinary nurse showed up at the home to give an injection to the family cat, no one answered the door. Will Van Gelderen, Jenna’s brother, showed up to the home soon afterwards and found the lights and TV on inside, plus some of Jenna’s belongings. Her handbag, cell phone and car were missing.
The prior year, Jenna had been diagnosed with high-functioning autism, a symptom of which is a reliance on routine. That meant Jenna would have never left without her personal items, according to her parents, Leon and Roseanne Van Gelderen.
Throughout the coming days, weeks and months after Jenna’s disappearance, more strange clues cropped up. Her family discovered she had a secret cell phone, which last pinged in Fairburn in south Fulton County. Also, a large Egyptian tapestry was missing from a frame where it hung in the Van Gelderen home.
On September 5 2017 Jenna’s dark blue 2010 Mazda 6 sedan was discovered along a road in northwest Atlanta, reported NBC News. The car was found unlocked, and her handbag, suitcase and clothing were inside, according to her father.
There was also evidence that another person had driven Jenna’s car. The driver seat pushed back, indicating a taller person might have been driving it, Dekalb County Police Department Capt. Anthony Ford told “Searching For.”
The Van Gelderen family has been active on social media and has set up the “Help Find Jenna Van Gelderen” Facebook page which has a following of more than 4,500 people.
At the end of August 2019, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation took charge of the case from the DeKalb County Police Department. “(We) finally have professionals in charge of the case,” said Leon Van Gelderen on his personal Facebook page. “(There are) too many questions about the investigation (and) we have no answers.”
Jenna Van Gelderen is 4 feet, 11 inches tall, and weighs approximately 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
If you have any information in connection to her case, contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 or the GBI Tip Line at 1-800-579-8477. Crime Stoppers and the Van Gelderen family are offering a combined $50,000 reward for information regarding Jenna’s disappearance.
Check out “Searching For” at www.oxygen.com.
Aly Vander Hayden contributed to this article.