EXCLUSIVE: Parents, police reveal new info surrounding death of missing Port Jervis woman
Brittany Hendershot’s family gathered Friday at their home in Port Jervis just like they do each year on her birthday, but instead of celebrating this year they are planning her funeral.
“I just thought, did she suffer? What did they do to her?”
Brittany Hendershot’s mother, Crystal, tells News 12 that she was devastated to learn Wednesday that police found the 21-year-old’s body in the woods in Wallkill Monday after she disappeared from their home late-June.
“The 23rd was the last time I saw her at Best Western,” said a tearful Crystal Hendershot. “She gave me a hug and told me ‘I love you.’”
Brittany Hendershot’s body was found by police after multiple tips locating her in the Wallkill area and three extensive grid searches.
Authorities have not ruled out the possibility of foul play, but say it appears as though she was living in the wooded area where she was found.
“We held out hope we’d find Brittany,” said Port Jervis Police Chief William Worden.
Brittany is one of four women from Port Jervis – including an underage teenager – who have gone missing this summer.
Two women – Cheynene McBride and Alyse Eck – have been found safe.
Heather Callas is still missing.
Authorities say there is no tie between any of the cases despite widespread community concern.
“There’s no connection. In many of these cases they left voluntarily. Actually, in all the cases they did,” said Worden.
In Brittany Hendershot’s case, her parents believe she was trafficked against her will.
“We believe she was sold for drugs,” said Crystal Hendershot.
Police say heroin may have played a role but that there’s no indication so far that trafficking was involved.
They’re waiting on autopsy results to determine exactly how she died.
Brittany Hendershot leaves behind a 3-month-old son who her parents are now raising.
State police are now heading the investigation into Brittany Hendershot’s death.
A GoFundMe meantime has been started to help her parents and infant son.