Authorities believe a southeast Iowa woman who went missing last week left the area on her own. Fourty-five-year-old Sharon Hopf of Crawfordsville has not been seen since January 5th when she failed to show up for work at a furniture store she owns in Kalona.
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar spoke at a news conference this morning and said there’s no evidence to suggest “foul play” or that Hopf was abducted.
“She wrote herself a check only two days before going missing, as an employee bonus. The day before she went missing, she deleted all of her outgoing emails and a lot of received emails on her work computer at Hopf Furniture in Kalona,” Dunbar said.
The check Hopf wrote to herself was for $1,000, according to Dunbar. Hopf’s husband, Perry, read a prepared statement at the news conference and said his wife had been under a lot of stress.
“We want Sharon to know we understand the stress she has recently been under and just want her to contact us and let us know that she is okay,” Perry Hopf said. “Sharon, if you see this, please know that I love you and miss you and you are the most important thing to me.”
Sheriff Dunbar was asked to further explain what “stress” Sharon had be experiencing. “She had been given a lot more responsibilities at work…and just your normal family things. That’s all we’re going to mention at this time,” Dunbar said.
Sharon Hopf’s car was found two days after she disappeared near Wright City, Missouri at an abandoned house. Dunbar said it appears Hopf drove there by herself.
The car was locked with her cell phone, license and credit cards inside. The cell phone had been powered down shortly after she left home at 7 a.m. on January 5. She was spotted that morning using her credit card at a gas station in Ainsworth.
In Missouri, searches of a one-mile radius surrounding the car have failed to turn up any sign of Hopf.
By Bill Gatchel, KCII, Washington