3 Top: VerHage, circa 1997; 2 Bottom: Progressed to age 2 1/2 years
Shannon Dale VerHage
Missing since June 3, 1997 from Cedar Springs, Kent County, Michigan
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Circumstances of Disappearance
VerHage was last seen in Cedar Springs, Michigan on June 3, 1997 with her mother, Rachel Timmerman, as they left the Cedar Springs home of Timmerman’s parents. Rachel was dressed up for a date. Rachel never came home from her date. At first, the family didn’t worry. But the family received a letter soon after saying she was eloping with a man who had “bonded” with her. Timmerman was found deceased on July 5, 1997 in a lake in remote Oxford Lake, in White Cloud, Michigan. She was the victim of a homicide. The lake is essentially a swamp. The mud goes down at least nine feet, and the water is only three or four feet. Her body was bound with a chain weighted by cinder blocks. Duct tape was found across her eyes and mouth.
Timmerman, who normally lived in Newaygo, had been living with her parents, in Cedar Springs, at the time of her disappearance.
Marvin Charles Gabrion II was convicted of the murder of Rachel Timmerman in early March 2002 and sentenced to death shortly thereafter. Rachel Timmerman had charged Gabrion with sexually assaulting her. A warrant charging him with third-degree criminal sexual conduct was pending at the time of Timmerman’s disappearance. Authorities dropped the felony sex charge after receiving a letter purportedly from Rachel Timmerman disavowing interest in pressing charges. The letter was received after Timmerman’s disappearance but before her body was recovered.
Shannon has never been located.
Left: Timmerman and Verhage, circa 1997; Right: Gabrion, circa 1998
Investigators Michigan State Police
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Michigan State Police
NCMEC #: NCMC835530
NCIC Number: M-044128303 Source Information: Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Missing Children's Network of Michigan
Source Information: Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index
Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index