Family keeps spotlight on missing Los Gatos woman

Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Motorists driving north on Highway 101 in San Francisco p...

More than three weeks after she vanished, the family and friends of Los Gatos resident Jeanine Harms are expanding their attempts to find her, with two billboards in the past few days and a Web site that was scheduled for a major redesign last night.

Jeanine Harms, 42, also known as Jeanine Sanchez, was last seen about 10 p. m. on July 27. Police say she left the Rock Bottom Brewery in Campbell with a male friend, en route to her home on Chirco Drive in Los Gatos.

Harms was reported missing by co-workers the next Monday when she did not arrive for work as a purchasing agent at Amdahl Co. in Sunnyvale. The man she left the bar with, whom police have not identified, later told investigators that he left her home about 1 a.m. and that she was fine at the time.

Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department Capt. Alana Forrest said yesterday that detectives have also spoken with William Alex Wilson III, a friend of Harms' who she apparently had arranged to meet earlier in the evening.

Police have characterized it as a suspicious missing person case.

"At this point, we're still following some leads," Forrest said. "The crime lab is still processing evidence that we seized in a couple of the residences we searched so far from the individuals who last saw her alive. I would say (the case) is still moving forward."

For their part, Harms's friends and family have been holding fund-raisers and rolling out a multimedia search effort over the past week.

That effort includes a donated professional redesign of a Web site -- -- originally assembled by Josh Golden, a distant cousin of Harms' who had not seen her for years before she vanished -- and now worries that he will not see her again.

Harms' photo also appears on two billboards -- one near the Bay Bridge put up last Thursday, the other in San Jose on Tuesday -- owned by ADCO Outdoor Advertising of San Mateo, which donated the space.

The billboard copy was written by Rich Binell, whose wife, Chigiy, has been Harms' friend since infancy.

"I have never known life without her," Binell said yesterday. "I try to remain hopeful, but every day you lose a little more hope."

Still, Binell said she finds working on the search somewhat therapeutic.

"As long as we stay busy doing what we're doing, which is the multimedia effort, and don't think about what I'm doing, I can keep going. It's when I stop that it kind of hits me," she said.

Harms is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 113 pounds. Her hair is brown with highlights and her eyes are also brown. She was last seen wearing a knee- length, short-sleeve floral pattern dress, and black strap style high-heeled sandals.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno police tip line at (408) 395-1101.

E-mail Matthew B. Stannard at

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