She Vanished In 2022 After Leaving A West Virginia Bar With An Older Man

Authorities questioned the man Gretchen was last seen with and claimed that he gave her a ride. He also reportedly stated that she’d gone to an unknown location and no further evidence that the pair knew each other before that evening has been made public.

Surveillance footage captured by other cameras in the area showed the man’s vehicle leaving the bar and traveling toward his residence, which was around 2 miles away.

So, authorities suspect that, after leaving with the man, Gretchen went back to his house. While the man denied that she was in his home, investigators executed search warrants that covered his home, vehicle, and electronic devices. He’s also considered a person of interest in the case.

Still, while the man’s name has reportedly since been confirmed as Preston Pierce, police have declined to share more information about him, and what evidence was uncovered during the search efforts by authorities remains unknown.

According to Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board, though, the case is “not even close” to being cold.

“There’s not a day that goes by that she and her family are not on my mind and the minds of the men and women of the Parkersburg Police Department. [Lead] Detective [James] Zimmerman comes in every day, and that’s still his priority,” Board said.

As for why the investigation is taking a while, Board claimed that it “cannot be emotionally driven.”

“There is a due diligence to Gretchen, to her family, and to the community at large to do this methodically,” he explained.

Gretchen’s loved ones have also stood by investigators’ efforts to find her and solve her disappearance.

“They are working so hard on this case; please don’t second guess what they are doing,” said Gretchen’s grandmother, Louise Fleming.

“We are 100% supporting their efforts. They will see that Gretchen gets the justice she deserves.”

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