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Police, missing Mo. woman's family hope for leads

Police, missing Mo. woman's family hope for leads

With their searches seeming to hit a dead end, police and family members of a Kansas City mother who has been missing more than a week hold out hope for some fresh leads in the case.
Those who know Renee Pernice say the 35-year-old nursing instructor was close to her three children and wouldn't leave them.
"There just isn't any room in our minds to believe that Renee just left," her father, Rick Pretz, said.
Something else that has caused investigators and her relatives to suspect foul play was the discovery of her cell phone a day after she disappeared. It was found on a street several miles from her northern Kansas City home in an area she wasn't known to frequent.
"Right now, her disappearance is classified as a missing person case," said Kansas City police officer Darin Snapp, a spokesman for the department. "But with her phone being located and the family and friends' statements, we believe there is definitely foul play involved."
No one has been arrested in the Jan. 2 disappearance, but police want to talk to the woman's husband, Shon Pernice. As far as they know, he was the last person to see his wife.
Snapp said police are trying to arrange through Shon Pernice's lawyers to interview him.
Shon Pernice is a firefighter in the Kansas City suburb of Independence who also is in the National Guard and served with the Army in Iraq.
The couple's decade-long marriage seemed to be nearing an end when Renee Pernice filed for divorce in 2005. But the divorce proceedings were dismissed in January 2007, according to court records.
More recently though, she had mentioned to family members that she was reconsidering divorce, police said.
Neither Shon Pernice nor his attorneys returned phone calls to The Associated Press. One of the lawyers, Kevin Baldwin, told The Kansas City Star that Pernice feels helpless and that he misses his wife and wants her back home. Baldwin said he has advised Shon Pernice to not talk to police because his client feels he is being blamed for his wife's disappearance.
Police have searched the Pernice family's home, the neighborhood around the house and the area where the cell phone was found.
A larger search of woods near the home was organized by Renee Pernice's family Monday. But the dozens of volunteers that spent hours combing the area left without being any closer to knowing the woman's whereabouts.
Seven detectives are working on the investigation amid their other cases.
"If we receive a tip about a certain area that's too large for these detectives to search themselves, we will allocate whatever resources we feel is necessary to conduct the search," Snapp said. "It helps out a lot when her family is helping with this. Renee has a lot of loved ones who are concerned about her."
The woman's father said she wouldn't abandon her family. He said she was the one who looked after the children _ an 11-year-old stepdaughter and two sons ages 6 and 8 _ while her husband was away for military duty, most recently serving in Iraq for about a year.
"We can't feel that she just walked off," Pretz said. "And we can't figure out how she would have had any enemy. So if she's truly gone from us, it has to be something that's just one of those crimes that just doesn't make sense at all."


Updated : 2020-12-02 04:58 GMT+08:00