NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) - Samples of substances found outside the Exxon Mobil gas station where Jessica Heeringa was last seen show they are Heeringa's blood, police said.
Norton Shores police received the results on Wednesday afternoon from The Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory.
Police Chief Daniel Shaw said the small amount of blood evidence was collected April 26 -- the night Heeringa disappeared -- and the next day outside the gas station on Sternberg Road. He would not disclose the exact location of where the samples were taken.
"The State Police Crime Lab was selected. Swabs went to them, and they were able to quickly analyze that for us because it does take some time to come up with DNA," Shaw said.
Crime Lab officials first identified the samples as blood, then compared them to Heeringa's DNA, which was collected from a hairbrush and toothbrush, as well as from her parents, on April 28.
The Crime Lab results confirmed for authorities that this case is an abduction, there may have been some sort of struggle between Heeringa and the suspect, and that she is injured, but to what extent is unknown.
"We know that she's been injured, so we need to ramp things up a little bit so we can find her as quick as possible," Shaw said.
It usually takes several weeks to process DNA, but the sample was rushed through the lab in only 10 days.
"They did push it through. This is a very high-profile case. It's a very serious case. We know we're under the gun as far as a timeline is concerned. We need to get Jessica back to her family. We need to now get her medical attention as soon as possible," Shaw said.
Shaw also said that prior to alerting the media about the test results, Heeringa's family had been notified of the development in her case.
Heeringa's grandma, Diane Homrich, said the family was hoping the blood would be from the suspect because that would provide more information on where Jessica is located. Homrich said since the substance was a small amount -- about one inch by one inch -- they hope this means Heeringa, 25, wasn't mortally wounded and may have fought back against the suspect.
Heeringa's fiancé said she did not have any previous cuts on her body that would indicate the blood was spilled accidentally.
Investigators are still waiting for more tests back from the Crime Lab, but the chief would not say what those tests were.
"Everything is indicating that a vehicle was used to transport Jessica away from this scene," Shaw said. "We now know she wasn't on the ground based on the dog searching immediately after she went missing. So the only thing that makes sense based on our timeline, with that gray or silver minivan, is that she was transported away either in that minivan or another vehicle just prior to that."
Police are still conducting interviews in the case. If you have a tip, please call the Norton Shores Police Department at 231.733.2691 or Silent Observer at 231.72.CRIME.
24 Hour News 8's Ryan Takeo contributed to this report.
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