Sherry Jean Leighty was 21-years-old when she was last seen in September 1999, and after 13 years she has finally been reported as a missing person by the police.
Sherry was last seen when her ex-husband’s parents dropped her off at a block away from her job on Sept. 26 2005. Sheldon Dumm, Sherry’s father found out later from her employer, Labor Ready, that Sherry never showed up for work that day.
Aaron Leighty, Sherry’s ex-husband also said the last time he saw Sherry was the day his parents dropped her off at her job at Labor Ready.
“Some of her friends in the area heard her say she was going to move to Maine with some kid,” Aaron told a local newspaper in 2000. “I have no idea.”
Dumm expected the police to look into what happened to his daughter and search for her, but it didn’t happen that way. Instead, the Altoona police told him they didn’t feel they had a case to investigate.
According to the Mirror, the police told Dumm that Sherry was an adult and could go where she pleased. Their assumption was that she had ran off, just like the rumors had said. They did put her information into the police database as “an attempt to locate” a month after she disappeared, but that was that.
It wasn’t till, Feb. 18, 2000, story, when the Mirror ran a story on Sherry and the fact that she had not been seen in five months, before local attention was brought to her case, but then everything went quiet again until the Mirror ran another story on Sherry in 2012.
Police Chief Janice Freehling told the Mirror when they asked about the case, that police detectives are reviewing the case.
“We have more technology available, so we’ll assist the family however we can,” she said.
The Altoona Police Department finally reported Sherry a missing person in September 2012 and her information was put in NAMUS in October 2012, and in January 2013, asked for the public’s help to help find Sherry, who would be 33-years-old now.
All the while Sherry’s older sister, Shelly Nagle never believed that Sherry would have left behind her three young children.
“The best-case scenario is that if she did run off, then maybe somebody has seen her,” said Nagle. “But, I don’t see her having been gone this long without trying to reach us or her kids. My dad, he always had the same phone number,” Nagle told the Altoona Mirror.
Shelly has a Facebook page for her sister called Sherry Leighty Missing Person to spread the word about her sister. She also hopes that someone might recognize Shelly’s photo and contact her.
“I even called the FBI; they said the only way they can get involved is if the police dept. ask for their assistance,” Shelly told the Examiner.
Please take time to look at the photos and if you have any information about Sherry, please call the Altoona Police Dept. at 814-949-2489.
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