PORT JERVIS, NY — On August 15, it was confirmed that Brittany Hendershot, a young woman from Port Jervis who went missing in late June, was found dead in the woods in Wallkill. The family had …
PORT JERVIS, NY — On August 15, it was confirmed that Brittany Hendershot, a young woman from Port Jervis who went missing in late June, was found dead in the woods in Wallkill. The family had received the news of Brittany’s death on the eve of her 22nd birthday. The family gathered not to celebrate her birthday this year but instead to plan her funeral.
The devastating news came after a month-and-a-half-long search from family, friends, the Port Jervis Police Department and missing persons organizations.
“We held out hope we’d find Brittany,” said Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden, who is aiding the New York State Police Department with its investigation.
The Hendershot family was grief-stricken in an interview with News 12.
Brittany’s mother and father recounted the last time they saw their daughter and how she said, “I love you,” before they left.
“I just thought, did she suffer? What did they do to her?” said Crystal Hendershot.
Port Jervis, as a whole, has been affected by this young loss and Hope Alive 845, an organization committed to bringing missing persons home, hosted a public event on Facebook on August 21 for family members and friends to share their feelings and experiences about Brittany’s dealth.
“When the news broke, it stunned everybody,” said organization member Domingo Ramos at the event.
Ramos said that the case felt personal to him, as he developed connections with the Hendershot family and has been actively working on this case 24/7, he said.
He expressed his anger at how devastating Brittany’s death is, as she leaves behind a three-month-old baby, and how the community should come together when dealing with a missing-person case.
“It should not have taken someone to be found [dead] to share. I saw so many shares on the outcome of Brittany, but I saw less shares when she was missing,” Ramos said. “We as a community—that is not what we’re here for… If you see a missing person, you have to share that every single day.”
The online audience spoke of fond memories and discussed their grieving process; others expressed anger and sadness. They called for information.
“I know someone knew where she was. But I also know this: I wish no harm on you [someone who may have played a role in Brittany’s disappearance]. I want justice to find you. And I want you to live a long life, and every night you go to sleep, I want you to see that precious girl’s face,” said Heather Martin, a family member. “Because even if her death was an accident, somebody knew where she was and left her there.”
The main goal of those devastated and grieved by Brittany’s death is to get justice.
“We want to put our baby girl to rest and get her justice,” said Martin.
Along with the discussion of Brittany, Ramos and family members made it a point to bring up the remaining missing person case in Port Jervis: Heather Callas.
She was last seen on June 20.
Hope Alive asks everyone to share Heather’s picture on social media platforms.
Port Jervis has seen a spike in missing-person cases (click here for more information on those cases). However, all have been found aside from Heather.
If you have any tips on Brittany or Heather, call the Port Jervis Police Department at 845/866-0442.
Click here to visit the GoFundMe for Brittany’s funeral and her son.
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