NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) - Thursday marked the sixth full day since Jessica Heeringa had been abducted and though the investigation continued, police still don't have a suspect.
As time goes on, burnout of the task force handling the case has become a concern. But the sheer volume of material generated by hundreds of tips makes passing the baton between investigators difficult.
"When you have papers for a report that it is this big, it take a long time to read it, so it take a long time to turn over the investigation to somebody else," Norton Shores Police Chief Dan Shaw said. "So we're already making accommodation for this, bringing people in to mirror somebody else so in a couple of days they can step back and take a day off and that new person can assume that role for a few days."
Dozens of investigators have tracked hundreds of tips, putting in thousands of man-hours.
"We have got commitment from our partner for at least two to three weeks. I don't know if we will maintain the same numbers, but we will maintain the task force going forward," Shaw said.
Shaw attention is being turned to next phase of the investigation.
"We have already talked about a succession planning, if you will, and who's going to be able to provide personnel," he said.
And as time goes by, interest in the case will naturally begin to fade and clues will become more difficult to find.
"Every minute that goes by, this investigation is going to get more difficult because of issues like that," Shaw said.
A former assistant prosecutor and Cooley Law professor said the one-week mark on Friday is more symbolic than anything else. Former Muskegon County Assistant Prosecutor Brett Gardner said hope is not lost and this case is far from becoming cold as long as there is attention on the case, investigators keep releasing new information, and tips keep coming in.
"With the passage of time, it doesn't necessarily mean all is lost. The police have been following up on many leads, and that creates a lot of pressure on the person who committed this crime. At this point, he'll start -- or she'll start -- making mistakes, and those mistakes will come back and bite him," Gardner said.
Gardner said social media helps keep the messages out there, and on the forefront of people's minds.
The case has defined the careers of many of the officers working on it -- including Shaw's.
"For me, it definitely will be. This is probably the largest case that I've been involved in in my career. I have been an officer almost 29 years," he said.
Shaw is not alone. He said investigators working case feel a very real sense of mission.
"This is becoming personal now for them. And that's why the resolve is still there to find Jessica and to bring her home," Shaw said. "They will find Jessica."
24 Hour News 8's Ryan Takeo contributed to this story.
A professor who participated in the anti-apartheid movement said Nelson Mandela taught the importance of struggle and sacrifice.
The case of a man accused of the involuntary manslaughter of three children who died in a February apartment fire is ready to go to a jury.
A Grand Rapids man has been arrested in connection to the case of a Jenison teen who was missing.