http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_pg=1636&u_sid=2173100Police search house of missing teen's boyfriend
Published Thursday May 18, 2006 BY KEVIN COLE WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITERS
Family and friends of Jessica O'Grady spent Wednesday night working on plans to search for the University of Nebraska at Omaha student who has been missing for more than a week.
"Our job is to continue to search until we find her," said Traci Harrison, an aunt of O'Grady's. "We hope to have a bunch of new fliers ready today and maybe even an announcement about our search and how (volunteers) can help us look for Jessica."
The last time friends had contact with 19-year-old O'Grady was May 10, when she made a call on her cell phone just after 11:45 p.m. as she drove toward 120th and Blondo Streets.
Investigators from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office began searching the home of O'Grady's boyfriend about 9 p.m. Tuesday. The boyfriend lives northeast of 132nd and Blondo Streets in the Willow Wood subdivision.
"We've conducted a search warrant on that house," said Douglas County Sheriff Tim Dunning. "It's gone from a missing person to a criminal investigation."
Neighbor Theresa Murray said she and her husband noticed "official-looking people" at the house about 9 p.m.
At 5 a.m. Wednesday, she went for a walk and saw a crime lab truck. By 6:30 a.m., officers were roping off the house, she said.
Murray said she saw crews carry out a headboard, three large bed pillows and large paper bags.
Dunning said the 19-year-old boyfriend has been interviewed and released. A Honda car belonging to the boyfriend was searched and impounded before being released to its owner Tuesday afternoon.
The sheriff declined to say what evidence was found within the home or what crime investigators think occurred there.
"I think we're going to deal well with this particular case in a short amount of time," Dunning said. "I think there is a lot of good evidence for investigators to work on here."
O'Grady's 2001 Hyundai Accent was found Tuesday at a strip mall in the area of 144th Street and West Center Road. Officers, acting on a tip, discovered the car about 10:30 a.m.
Omaha Police Sgt. Teresa Negron said there were no indications of foul play in the car.
Kevin Stanzel, an uncle of O'Grady's, said family members tried to talk with the boyfriend, who works at a restaurant with his niece. O'Grady, he said, told friends last week that she had taken a home-pregnancy test and that it came out positive.
Asked Wednesday whether he had determined if his niece was indeed pregnant, Stanzel said that he wasn't sure and that authorities had asked the family not to say any more on the subject.
Harrison described her niece, a sophomore at UNO and a 2004 graduate of Westside High School, as "an outgoing and wonderful part of our family."
According to her senior yearbook, O'Grady participated in Westside's show choir and the school's Warrior Choir.
Harrison said O'Grady enjoys helping coach a youth softball team, collecting toy frogs and spending time with her three roommates.
"We know, and her roommates know, that it just isn't like Jessica to run away," Harrison said. "That wouldn't be in her character. She would've called somebody."
O'Grady is white, stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 135 pounds, and has brown hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink shirt with a palm tree on the front and blue jeans.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at (402) 444-3554 or the tip line at 333-1000.