This story was written exclusively for the 18 Wheel Angels campaign by Donna's father, Reza:The mysterious disappearance of Donna Jou
My daughter, Donna Jou, 19 years old, an honor pre-med student at San Diego State University is missing since 23 June 2007. Her dream is to be a physician (Neurosurgeon). Donna was last seen by witnesses with John Steven Burgess (a convicted sex offender) at his residence 3617 Faris Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90034 around midnight of June 23-24, 2007. Please refer to WWW.DONNAJOU.COM
for more detail.
Donna posted an ad on Craig list (Internet) as a Math Tutor in hope to help other students. During this process she was contacted by John Steven Burgess and a trust began. On that dreadful Saturday, June 23, 2007, he picked her up, but did not bring her back.
He is in California State Prison for UNRELATED to Donnas case, he is hiding behind the law (Fifth Amendment Right) and maintaining his silence. We have begged him many times, via his attorney, through media, and many letters to tell us about my childs whereabouts, he has refused.
Donna's big heart and generosity expanded by her community services of many hours dedicated to baby sitting at the Battered Women's Shelters. She has volunteered as a cashier in the Bay Area Turning Point Resale Shop in Nassau Bay, Texas in support of women shelters. She also has supported the Interfaith Ministries as a volunteer, this includes, collecting non-perishable foods from grocery stores and delivery to food pantries for less fortunate.
Donna worked full time as a volunteer in St. John Hospital's Pathology Laboratories, summer 2005. During her senior year at Clear Lake High School, she took a course named "Independent Study Mentor ship (ISM)" Under direction of her mentor, NASA senior scientist, she studied Neurophysiology, Vestibular System, Spaceflight negative effects on astronauts' balance upon their return to Earth. This was at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, Texas (please see www.donnajou.com
, under PROFILE for her research work). She graduated from high school, May 2006 with 4.4 GPA, 1570 SAT score. The following summer, she was admitted to the NASA's Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program or SHARP.
She moved from Houston to San Diego, California and started her undergraduate work in Fall 2006.
It has been over 14 long months since my precious daughter, disappeared from my life. Donna is still an integral part of me; her image still is very much in my mind. I am sad; My world has been turned upside down by this terrible tragedy. Her loss has changed me. The light that used to guide me to live life with a sense of joy and passion barely flickers today. At times, I feel my life lacks purpose and that I have little reason to go on without her. Yet I can not bring myself to say goodbye to Donna in the absence of conclusive evidence that she will not come back to me alive. Every waking moments of every day, I hope and pray for new leads to Donna's whereabouts.
I feel strongly that I have not reached the point where I should give up hope. My heart and soul tell me to hold on and to cherish the thought that "see you soon" still describes what I believe will be the ultimate outcome of this case.
This has been a dreadful experience for me and my family, especially with mystery and suspense. It goes beyond my worst nightmare. I will persist and stop at nothing to find my daughter, reunite with her or find closure.
My love for my daughter, my terrible grief, and the rage I feel for her abductor and our system of justice that seems so often to favor the criminal's rights over the victim's, will keep me going as long as it takes to find her. If it takes my entire life, so be it. I hold on till I take my last breath.
What we need so much is to keep Donna's disappearance before the public. We can not afford to have this case go "cold" as that will truly be the death knell for my beautiful girl. We need to keep this case fresh in the minds of the public eye in any and every way we can. Sooner or later, someone, somewhere will recognize Donna and provide us the information we need.
I want to tell her that I love her immensely and that no matter what condition or shape she is in, I will love her and accept her. I want her back in my life.
Reza Jou, Father of Missing Donna Jou
A $15,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the discovery of Donna's whereabouts.