The Kansas City Police Department’s search for the missing wife of an Independence firefighter has generated several tips and leads, and although investigators believe the woman’s disappearance is suspicious, they still have not named a suspect or a person of interest in a case that is being treated as a missing persons case. And they want to talk to anyone who recognizes the pickup shown in a surveillance video.
The Kansas City Police Department’s search for the missing wife of an Independence firefighter has generated several tips and leads, and although investigators believe the woman’s disappearance is suspicious, they still have not named a suspect or a person of interest in a case that is being treated as a missing persons case.
Darin Snapp, public information officer for the KCPD, said Tuesday the department has received several strong leads in the case, including a tip that Shon Pernice, an Independence firefighter, was seen in a white pickup truck near the northeast area of Kansas City where the cell phone of Renee Pernice – Shon Pernice’s wife – was found shortly after she was reported missing by her father Jan. 3.
Kansas City Police on Saturday released a video surveillance image of a white truck – possibly a GMC, extended or quad cab model – and is seeking the public’s help in identifying the owner of the truck. The video image was taken on a surveillance camera the morning of Jan. 2 in the vicinity of Gladstone Boulevard from St. John to Seventh or Eighth Street. Pernice’s cell phone was discovered near Sixth Street and Gladstone.
“We received a tip from a person saying they thought they observed Shon, around the time his wife came up missing, in a white pickup truck in that area by where the cell phone was located,” Snapp said. “That’s why we went and looked at some surveillance video of the area and that’s the only white truck we observed.
“That truck might have nothing to do with this, but we need to know that. If someone owns that truck and they were just in the area, driving around, then we need to know that so we can get our concentration off that truck and work on other leads. Our main goal right now is to find out who owns that truck.”
Also released Saturday was a picture of a woman – identified as Kelli A. Sharp of Overland Park, Kan. Police wanted to know if she had access to the truck. Tuesday, Snapp said police do not consider Sharp a suspect in the case.
“We’ve always known who (Sharp) was, but the deal was she wouldn’t talk to us,” Snapp said, adding he had no comment on the connection between Shon Pernice and Sharp. “So we were asking anyone who knows her if she owns a truck like that or if they had ever seen her in a truck like that, and if not, we were trying to find out who the truck belongs to.”
Sharp’s attorney, Edward A. Byrne, released a statement Tuesday distancing Sharp from any involvement in the disappearance of Renee Pernice.
The statement read in part: “Ms. Sharp is NOT a suspect in this investigation. She has no knowledge whatsoever concerning the underlying events, nor does she have any information on the whereabouts of Renee Pernice, or what may have happened to her. Ms. Sharp is merely a responsible citizen who hopes to assist law enforcement officials as they pursue every possible lead.”
Reached Tuesday for comment, Shon Pernice’s lawyer, Eric Vernon, declined to comment on any connection between Shon Pernice and Sharp.
“I don’t have anything to say,” Vernon said. “I don’t have any response.”
Rick Pretz, Renee Pernice’s father, also said he knew of no connection between Sharp and the Pernices.
“From the family’s perspective, we don’t know her at all,” Pretz said, adding the family’s focus has been on finding Renee Pernice.
The Pernices have two sons together, and Pretz said he has not seen his grandchildren since their mother disappeared. The boys, ages 6 and 8, have been in the care of Shon Pernice since the family’s ordeal began.
“We are really aching to see the boys,” Pretz said. “We are working on that in any possible way that we can.”