A missing 20-year-old has sent a Northern Kentucky family on a frantic search across the country.
There's more to the story when you become an Insider. WCPO Insider's membership is an additional benefit on top of everything you can get for free on WCPO.com. We created an entire digital organization dedicated to bringing you exclusive access to in-depth stories that you can’t get anywhere else, handpicked events, and incredible savings on things you love to do. To find out more click here.
UPDATE: Missing Boone County girl spotted at Las Vegas casino
FLORENCE, Ky. -- A missing 20-year-old has sent a Northern Kentucky family on a frantic search across the country.
Wednesday marked 13 days since the Boone County family last heard from 20-year-old Jena Chisholm. As each day goes by without any news, their worries grow.
"I just want her to come home,” said Jena’s sister, 16-year-old Josie Chisholm. “I miss her so much."
All Josie wants this New Year is to find her sister. But she said the former Northern Kentucky University student could be anywhere in the country.
"She told me she was going to Vegas but she told me she was going after Christmas," Josie said.
But Jena disappeared before that on the night of Dec. 19th.
She had been living with her dad Tim Chisholm in Union. They spent that evening together.
When they got home, Tim said everything seemed fine.
"The next morning there was a note on the table that said she went to stay with a friend of hers…we had a great breakfast and day and that she’d be back for a doctor's appointment on the 26th,” Tim said.
When Jena didn’t show up for her appointment, her family became concerned.
“We had put the find a phone application on…and she's already outside St. Louis, Missouri at that time," Tim said.
Jena took her dog Chamber with her. Her parents say she loved Chamber and took him everywhere.
They would soon find Jena’s location using an iPhone tracking app. She went to Albuquerque, N.M., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, then back to Las Vegas.
"We tried to call, we tried to text, she didn't answer a thing,” said Jena’s mom, Tina Chisholm.
Jena’s phone was shut off on the 26th and has not been turned on since. Now, she is untraceable.
Her parents and siblings said Wednesday they are worried sick because Chamber was found tied to a fence outside a hotel in Las Vegas. Jena was nowhere in sight.
Melanie Downard, the woman who found Chamber tied up, called the number on his tag but it went straight to voicemail.
Downard said she was able to track down Jena’s parents and called to let them know she had the dog.
“(Her parents) stressed it greatly that this was Jena's dog, this was Jena’s phone number on the tag and she would never leave her dog behind ever,” Downard said. “The reason why they thought she was safe is because Chamber was with her so they got very scared when Chamber was left behind.”
Chamber will be back in Kentucky to the Chisholm family Friday.
Jena's parents say she was in the process of being evaluated for mental health issues after she dropped out of school at NKU, quit her job at Greyhound Tavern in Fort Mitchell and stopped talking to friends.
Despite almost two weeks since communicating with Jena, her family is still holding out hope.
"I just want to tell her that I love her, I want her to come home and I've been praying for her," her brother Jake Chisholm said. “We love her. We miss her terribly. It's just really hard."
The Chisholms have spoken with Las Vegas police.
Jena left home in her 2006 powder blue Volkswagen Beetle with Kentucky license plate 316MYB.
If you have any information, you're asked to call the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 702-828-3111.