Mom of Missing Ohio Woman Speaks Out: 'There's More Than One Person' Involved
Though she is grateful for the supportive community that has risen up around her, the mother of a missing Ohio woman tells PEOPLE she is still frustrated by the lack of answers.
“We don’t know any more than the night she went missing,” says Sheila Vaculik, mother of 20-year-old Sierah Joughin, who went missing Tuesday. “I mean, people are spreading this information all over and everyone knows she’s been missing, but nobody has seen her or given us any kinds of leads.”
“The last person saw her and then she’s just gone,” Vaculik says. “It’s just so frustrating.”
Vaculik tells PEOPLE she believes “that somebody took [my daughter] and there’s more than one person.”
“She’s a strong girl. She’s had self-defense classes,” Vaculik says. “We’ve talked extensively about being aware of her surroundings and what to do if somebody takes you.”
Bicycle Discovered in Cornfield
Joughin was reported missing in Lyons by her family Tuesday night, just hours after she didn’t return from riding her bike with boyfriend Josh Kolasinski, who was riding a motorcycle, local authorities have said, adding that the pair parted amicably.
She and Vaculik spoke that night, about 5 p.m. local time before Joughin went for her bike ride, Vaculik says.
Shortly after 10 p.m., Vaculik says, Kolasinski called her to ask if Joughin had made it home.
Authorities have said Kolasinski has been cooperative with their investigation and is not a suspect. “He’s doing whatever they ask, he’s been trying to help,” Vaculik says.
Kolasinksi had posted a photo to social media from their bike ride together Tuesday night, showing Joughin wearing neon shoes and clothing, with sunglasses.
At some point on her ride, Joughin “actually rode by a house on County Road 6 and the family was out and they had young children so she waved to them and they waved to her,” Vaculik says. “That was the last people who visually saw her.”
Authorities have said Joughin’s bike was discovered in a cornfield, a few rows in.
“We’re going to always be optimistic,” Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller said Thursday.
“Until someone proves something different to me, she’s alive and we’re going to do what we can do to bring her home,” he added.
Joughin is 5-foot-5-inches and weighs 130 pounds, with brown and black hair and brown eyes.
The sheriff’s office is urging anyone with information on Joughin’s whereabouts to call 419-335-4010, ext. 8.
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Keeping the Faith
Joughin, a student at the University of Toledo, loves to travel and shop and exercise, her mom says. She is a hard-worker who enjoyed school and who is very close to her family.
“She was hoping to study abroad this fall,” Vaculik tells PEOPLE, adding, “She’s very dedicated, caring, compassionate.”
In their traditionally peaceful community, Vaculik says she never thought she needed to “check up” on her daughter.
“We live in a very quiet, supportive community and I’ve got younger kids and wouldn’t even bat an eye letting them ride down to my parents’ house,” she says. “And now I won’t let them out.”
Vaculik says she has shared her concern that Joughin is no longer in their Fulton County area. “I feel like the police are being very thorough and doing everything they can, even if they’re not giving me answers,” she says.
The community – including family and friends – “is messaging me and praying and keeping the faith,” Vaculik says. “It does help and keeps me positive, because it’s very easy to go down a dark path.”
Vaculik also created a GoFundMe page to raise money for “billboards, advertisements, posters, large signs, and flyers,” or anything else that can raise awareness about her daughter’s disappearance. As of this writing, it has raised more than $25,000.
“I just want her to come home,” Vaculik says. “I just want this to be over.”