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Missing Holland Woman Found in New Mexico; Big Rapids Attorney Still Missing

by
Emelene VanDyke (photo courtesy Holland Dept. of Public Safety)
Emelene VanDyke (photo courtesy Holland Dept. of Public Safety)

HOLLAND, MI (WHTC) - One of two persons with Holland connections missing since Valentine's week has been spotted, while the other remains missing.

Police in Roswell, New Mexico over the weekend spotted the new car that Emelene Van Dyke had purchased prior to leaving her Holland home on Valentine's Day. There was concern about the 36-year-old woman's safety, for there was no activity with her cell phone or her bank account since her disappearance. An image of her vehicle, along with a driver that matched her description, was taken by a unmanned license plate reader near Alamagordo, New Mexico, about 90 miles north of El Paso, last weekend. An officer noticed the vehicle parked outside of a motel, and Van Dyke was able to talk with the officer a short time later. It is believed that she has since contacted family members to say that she is OK; that she is under not duress, and that she just wanted to "unplug" and get away. No charges will be filed; the missing persons case is being considered solved; and Van Dyke is still currently in the Roswell area.

Holland Public Safety officials added that there has been no new leads in the whereabouts of Fred Byrne, the 49-year-old Big Rapids attorney who went missing two days prior to Van Dyke after dropping off his son at Hope College. The only trace since the disappearance has been the recovery of his car, keys and wallet at a national forest south of St. Louis, Missouri about a month ago. Any tips to authorities in Big Rapids or Holland, as well as to Silent Observer, are welcome.

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