Is Shannan Verhage out there somewhere?

Shannon age progression to age 16

Is Shannan Verhage out there somewhere.  Is she still alive?  There is a possibility that she is.

Shannan Dale Verhage was only 11 months old when she disappeared from Cedar Springs, Mich. in 1997 and has never been seen again.

In 1996, Shannan’s mom, Rachel Timmerman, 19, filed a rape complaint against a man named Marvin Gabrion.   She had a witness to her rape named Wayne Davis.

Although she told family she feared for her life, she did what she thought was the right thing.  Rachel’s brother even told police that Gabrion had threatened to kill her if she testified against him. 

Then on June 3, 1997,  three days before Rachel was to testify against Gabrion, she took Shannan and disappeared after accepting a ride by a man named John Weeks, who later was determined to be an associate of Gabrion.  Sometime during that same month Weeks disappeared and he has not been seen since.  Strangely Davis disappeared during that same time period and has not been seen since.

A little over a month later, Rachel’s body was found in Oxford Lake in Manistee National Forest.  She was found in the water with 60 pounds of blocks and chain with locks attached to her and duct tape covering her head including her eyes and mouth.

Blocks that were used to drown Rachel were found on Gabrion’s property and the key that opened the locks on the chain were found in Gabrion’s house. 

Gabrion went missing but when he was located in October 97 he was in New York living under the identity of Robert Allen and collecting a social security check.  The real Robert Allen is still missing.

Gabrion was convicted of murdering Rachel in 1997. 

Although the authorities searched the lake for Shannan she was never found.  It was also revealed that there is no assurance that Shannan was with her mother the day she was killed.  She could have been at a babysitters house.  A person that was known to babysit Shannan went missing for two weeks after Rachel disappeared and then suddenly reappeared again.  Police wondered if they could have taken Shannan somewhere and left her.  Leaving the case wide open to whether Shannan is still alive out there somewhere.

 If you have any information about the whereabouts of Shannon, please call the Michigan State Police Newaygo Post at 231-652-1661.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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