Search for Gomez goes on

Knigge, van found in Indiana

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Clare firefighters Zack Gaul and Danny Licht search a ditch and field edges along Easter Avenue north of 150th Street Friday afternoon as another searcher drives by on an ATV. The multi-agency area search was in relation to the disappearance of Jessica Gomez, 26, of Fort Dodge and Mackenzie Knigge, 26, of Clare. Knigge was located Friday. Gomez, who has not been seen for a week, remains missing.

One of two missing Webster County women was found safe in Indiana, and authorities combed an area near Clare Friday as they continued to look for the other one.

MacKenzie Knigge, 26, of Clare, was found in Lafayette, Indiana, on Thursday, the Iowa Department of Public Safety reported on Friday.

A 2006 Pontiac Montana that’s believed to be connected to the disappearance of Knigge and 26-year-old Jessica L. Gomez, of Fort Dodge, was also found in Lafayette, Indiana.

The search for Gomez, who was last seen on Aug. 4, continues.

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs said ”there is a heightened concern” for the safety of Gomez.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Webster County Conservation Park Ranger Brad Janssen helps search a ditch Friday afternoon along Easter Avenue north of 150th Street by Clare. The multi-agency search was related to the disappearance case of Jessica Gomez, 26, of Fort Dodge.

Law enforcement officers and firefighters searched a few square miles around Clare Friday, Stubbs said rescuers had previously searched the area, but were giving it a second look.

The Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Clare Fire Department, Fort Dodge Fire Department, Webster County Emergency Management Agency, Webster County Conservation and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources were involved in the search. A command post was set up in the Clare firehouse.

The search began at about 3 p.m. and ended at about 7 p.m.

Gomez’s car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris, was found west of the intersection of Fairbanks Avenue and 150th Street in Webster County. Stubbs did not say when that car was found.

Jacqui McCollum, who is Gomez’s grandmother, has described Gomez and Knigge as ”best friends.”

On Friday, she again pleaded for the missing woman to contact her family.

”We have heard nothing,” McCollum said. ”They’ve been gone a week.”

She asked that people continue spreading the word about the missing woman.

”Keep the girls in your prayers, and get the info out as often as we can,” McCollum said.

”We’re just trying to support each other through this,” she added. ”She has brothers and sisters rooting for her, too, as well as her husband and kids and friends.”

Gomez is a white woman with blue eyes. She is 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 195 pounds.

Anyone with information on Gomez, who is also known as Jessica Ebner, is asked to contact the Webster County Sheriff’s Department at 573-1410 or Webster County Crime Stoppers at 573-1444. Tips can also be sent online at or by texting “LEC” and the tip to 274637.