Photograph by Paul Myers
Still Hoping: Campbell residents Jess and Georgette
Sanchez, parents of missing Los Gatos resident Jeanine Sanchez
Harms, were present at a Sept. 6 press conference in Los Gatos.
The Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation donated
$5,000 for Harms' reward fund, for a total reward of $15,000.
Missing woman's family keeps hope alive
Jeanine Sanchez Harms' reward fund grows as police
investigate new leads in puzzling case
By Erin Mayes
Sanchez Harms' parents talk about their daughter with smiles on
their faces. They have no problem describing her love of music or
the way she rode her bike to her friend's house in their Campbell
when Jess and Georgette Sanchez, of Campbell, start to talk about
family members and friends who have banded together to help find
their daughter, their tears begin to flow.
has been missing since July 27. She was last seen leaving the Rock
Bottom Brewery in Campbell with Maurice Nasmeh, 42, who told
police he accompanied Harms to her Los Gatos residence and left at
1 a.m., after Harms fell asleep on her couch.
Nasmeh's name was not released to the public until two
weeks ago, when police say he stopped cooperating with their
Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Sgt. Karry Harris said at a Sept. 6
press conference that Nasmeh still is not being considered a
suspect in the case.
seen with Harms that evening was William Wilson III, 42, who went
on a date with Harms at 7 p.m. He told police he left Rock Bottom
Brewery at 10 p.m., after Harms left with Nasmeh. Harris said
Wilson is also is not a suspect.
Harms' disappearance, a reward fund has been set up. Kim Petersen,
a representative with the Carole Sund Memorial Fund, announced at
the recent press conference that the fund donated $5,000 to the
reward, making the total reward $15,000. Sund and her daughter,
Julie and their friend Silvina Pelosso were the victims of violent
murders in Yosemite National Park.
Petersen said the reward fund set up by the family at the
time the three turned up missing was helpful in finding them
later, even though they were not in the condition their families
every family's worst nightmare," Petersen said. "We do believe
somebody out there has information about this case."
in the conference, Harris said there wasn't much new information
to divulge, although police may be on the brink of uncovering new
leads they have received since they released Nasmeh's name and
posted his photo throughout Santa Clara County.
case is still priority number one," Harris said, ensuring friends
and family members that no one has been taken off the case. "We
are still very hopeful that we are going to find Jeanine."
said that, contrary to what some of Harms' friends have said,
Harms' disappearance is still being investigated as a missing
person case, not a homicide.
really don't have reason to believe that this is a homicide,"
still do not want to reveal what items were removed from Harms'
one-bedroom duplex, other than to say that it suggested foul play.
Harms' well-being, Harris said, "We've tried to be very forthright
with the family. There's a relatively high likelihood that she is
not alive anymore."
Sanchez family has kept going strong and has seemed to emerge with
renewed energy in their hope of finding Harms.
not going to give up total hope," Jess Sanchez said. "We still
wake up and say 'Is this real?"
them through this rough period are dozens of friends and family
the relatives come over every day," Georgette Sanchez said. "I
just can't believe how kind people have been. There are people we
renewed friendships with--people we hadn't seen for over 30
Harms' friends from Amdahl, the Sunnyvale company where she worked
in purchasing, have volunteered their time as well.
helped that she loved everyone at Amdahl," Georgette said. "She
loved the environment, the employees."
the disappearance, the Sanchezes have received many emails,
letters and calls from people they never expected to hear from.
don't get them as often as we used to, in the beginning,"
Georgette said. "Some of them were from complete strangers who
expressed their empathy. People who have daughters."
letters that say, 'You don't know us and we don't know you...'"
Sanchez's son, Craig, has headed up the organizational effort of
volunteers and continues to manage everything from where he lives
in town on a family vacation when Harms disappeared and stayed as
long as he could to shield his parents from the media and the
multitude of calls that started coming in. When he went back to
Maryland, he became violently ill and had to be taken to the
emergency room. His parents attribute his illness to stress.
he left, we were terrified," Georgette said. "Craig has been the
guiding force. I didn't want to go through that kind of a process.
It's painful for us, and we didn't want to be asked the same
questions over and over."
Sanchezes describe their daughter as a caring person who attracted
people everywhere she went.
was an extremely passionate person," Georgette said.
added, "In fact, I used to get a little angry with her because she
contributed so much to animal causes."
causes," Georgette emphasized.
was "totally devoted" to fitness and her mother said she thinks
Harms looked 10 years younger than she was--42.
was also an avid member of her Methodist church in Campbell.
been in the midst of divorce proceedings with Randy Harms, whom
she married six years ago.
all on good terms with Randy," Georgette said. "He came to the
house twice [since Harms disappeared]. He loved Jeanine. Somebody
said he was taking it hard."
Georgette said she had a dream about Jeanine not too long
"There's a phone call and it's Jeanine. I dreamed Jeanine
called and said 'Mom.' Then I looked up to tell everyone she was
on the phone and I woke up."
friends have organized an awareness event planned for 6-8 p.m.
Sept. 19 at Britannia Arms on Almaden Expressway in San Jose.
information about the case, visit http://www.findjeanine.com/. To donate money to
the Friends of Jeanine fund, either call Bank of the West at
408.354.6161 or send donations to The Jeanine Sanchez Harms Fund,
c/o Bank of the West, 308 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, 95030.
The Los Gatos Police Department can be reached at 408.354.8600.
Anonymous tips can be left for the police as well. The number for
that line is available on the website.