NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) - Following a new development in the Jessica Heeringa abduction case, the 25-year-old's family vowed they'd continue to hold daily vigils at the gas station where Heeringa was last seen.
Wednesday, Norton Shores police announced that the suspicious substance samples taken from outside the Mobile Exxon gas station on Sternberg Road was blood that contained Heeringa's DNA.
Dakotah Quail-Dyer, Heeringa's fiancée, told 24 Hour News 8 how he reacted when he heard the news.
"You don't ever want to hear about blood from your significant other," Quail-Dyer said. "That's not something you want to hear, so of course it was a little gut wrenching."
Yet Quail-Dyer, the father of Heeringa's 3-year-old son, said the development gives the family hope, because it was such a small amount of blood, that it meant Heeringa survived a struggle at the gas station.
"It wasn't a lot, so it means she's partially ok," Quail-Dyer said.
Police told Heeringa's family about the DNA on Wednesday morning, before it was released to the media.
"It doesn't change anything for us, it gives us a little more hope, I guess," Quail-Dyer said. "It's another lead."
Diane Homrich, Heeringa's grandmother, said her family was hoping that test results on the blood would show that it belonged to someone else, namely, Heeringa's abductor.
"We were hoping that it would turn out to be the suspect's DNA," Homrich said.
Heeringa's family believes the latest development in her case proves what they've known all along, that Jessica is a fighter and that she will survive.
"She's waiting for her moment, I know she is; we've talked about this scenario quite a few times," Quail-Dyer said. "She's a smart girl. She's definitely a fighter. She'll figure a way to get loose."
A Kalamazoo County sheriff's deputy will not face criminal sexual conduct charges.
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night for an innocent bystander who was shot and killed in October.
Police say they haven't been able to find out which student was responsible after a Muskegon kindergartner was choked with his own scarf on the playground.