Sierah Joughin went missing after an evening bike ride with her boyfriend, and as evidence emerges that the Ohio woman may have been spotted near the Michigan border, there are new fears that she may have been abducted.
The 20-year-old Lyons, Ohio, woman was last seen riding her purple bicycle alongside her boyfriend, who was riding a motorcycle. Police told People magazine that the two parted ways for the evening on good terms and Sierah was not seen again after that.
Her boyfriend, Josh Kolasinski, has reportedly been cooperating with investigators and has not been named as a suspect in her disappearance.
Sierah Joughin and Josh Kolasinski had known each other since they were 10 and have been dating since middle school. Family members said they have talked about marriage and did plan to marry one day, but that it wasn’t in the immediate future.
The Toledo Blade reported on Wednesday that Joughin’s bike was found near a cornfield on a Fulton County road and that there were signs of a disturbance nearby. Search crews were seen canvassing the area near where the bike was found, but there were not reports of other evidence found or if investigators believe Joughin is still in the area.
The report noted that the search for Sierah Joughin had pulled in a number of law enforcement agencies.
“The sheriff said they are using state and federal resources, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to search for Miss Joughin. Dogs are being brought in to search the cornfield more thoroughly, he said. She had been heading home from her boyfriend’s home at the time.”
Investigators may have found another clue in the disappearance of Sierah Joughin. Her boyfriend had taken a picture of the two during the bike ride that showed Joughin wearing a Fitbit band, which tracks activity and could help show her whereabouts. Investigators are also tracking a ping from Joughin’s cell phone, which showed that she was near the Michigan border which is several miles from where she went missing.
Joughin had been planning to move in with her aunt, Tara Shaffer Ice, to be closer to the University of Toledo, where she is a student. Ice told People magazine that Joughin comes from a large and close-knit family and that they had planned to see The Secret Life of Pets on Wednesday night.
“[Joughin] was always the one who wanted to get everyone together,” she said.
“We are struggling and trying to stay hopeful,” Joughin’s aunt added. “We just want her to come home safe and [whoever has her] to just leave her where she is and let us have her back.”
Ice added that family members fear something terrible could have happened, noting that Sierah is not the type of person to leave without telling anyone.
“I don’t know, but I definitely know she didn’t go anywhere willingly,” Ice said.
Joughin’s disappearance has made headlines across the country on Wednesday, with her story gaining attention from a number of media outlets and shares on social media. Many people in the northwest Ohio community where she disappeared had also expressed a willingness to help, with some asking if police would extend the search to allow volunteers to help. As of yet, police and firefighters had reportedly closed off the search area to the public.
Family and friends also handed out flyers with information about Sierah and where she was last seen.
Police said Sierah Joughin was last seen riding a purple bicycle with neon yellow tennis shorts. Anyone with information on her disappearance is asked to call the Fulton County sheriff’s office at (419) 335-4010 Ext. 8.
[Image via Facebook/Sierah Joughin]