HARVEST, Ala. (WHNT) — Monday marks 13 years since Jennifer Powers, a mother of three, disappeared from her home on Granto Road in Harvest.
Powers was last seen on July 12, 2008.
Jennifer’s daughter, Katelyn, said she and her two siblings had spent the night with their grandparents, Jennifer’s parents. Jennifer’s husband, Jason, said he and Jennifer were going out to dinner. But Katelyn said when her grandma dropped her and her siblings off at home the next morning, their mother wasn’t there.
“We went in there, and as soon as we go in, we’re looking for Mama,” Katelyn said. “And she wasn’t there. And we’re like ‘Hey Daddy, where’s Mama?’. [He said], ‘Well, she wasn’t here when we woke up.'”
Jennifer’s family says it wasn’t like her to just disappear, especially without bringing her three kids along with her.
“Nothing was missing but her,” said Shirley Locke, Jennifer’s mother. “Her purse, her cigarettes… no clothes. You know, she was the only thing missing.”
The family realized something bad had happened to Jennifer. They called the police, but were told they had to wait to file a missing persons report. The spent the next hours combing the woods, looking in abandoned buildings, and at the bottom of wells, hoping to find Jennifer. She was nowhere to be found.
Eventually, Jennifer was reported missing. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. But years went by — and nothing led to Jennifer’s whereabouts. However, the sheriff’s office has officially declared the case a death investigation and Jennifer has been declared legally dead. A tombstone with her name on it sits in a cemetery not far from her parent’s home.
In the past four years, the Madison County Sheriff’s office has revisited the area near Jennifer’s home on Granto Road at least three times. Each time, they say they’ve recovered evidence. They’ve yet to say what the evidence was, or if forensic testing was done on it.
“It’s part of the investigation,” said Brent Patterson with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “We hope that we will get what we need to put this to rest.”
Jennifer’s mother says during one of the operations, search dogs indicated Jennifer’s body had once been in a wooded area near a barn on the neighbor’s property. But, no body was ever found.
Patterson says this case is one of the sheriff’s office’s top priorities, and the investigators who have worked this case over the years carry this with them every day.
“We’re close. And we want the family to know we’re close. And we want the person who did this to know we’re close. It may be today, it may be something that happens tomorrow,” Patterson said.
Jennifer’s oldest daughter, Brittany, died of cancer in 2013. Her family says she fought every day to figure out what happened to her mom.
Meanwhile, Katelyn, Jennifer’s other daughter, is getting married this year. She says now more than ever, she just wants answers.
“I just want to know why,” Katelyn said. “And I want to know what she said, like, what was her last words? Did she ask for us? Did she talk about her kids?”
Patterson says the investigation is still very active and they are continually following up on leads.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Jennifer Powers, call the Madison County Sheriff’s Office at (256)-533-8820.