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Missing Weissport woman's daughter seeks public's help

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    Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Kristen Dunning, 24, left, of Tower City, is the daughter of Sharon Weaver, the missing woman from Weissport. On right is Dunning's friend Jess Morgan, who had lived with Sharon in the past for four years.
Published November 21. 2009 09:00AM

Kristen Dunning, the daughter of the missing woman from Weissport, is pleading for help to find her mother.

Sharon Weaver has been missing for 16 days. She's already missed her daughter's 24th birthday and with the holidays looming, Kristen wants her mother back home.

"My mother never missed my birthday," said Dunning. "It is not like her to take off and not let anyone know where she is. When she and my stepfather had any disagreements, she would take a walk for a few hours, but she always let someone know where she was because she was an epileptic. She knew she needed her medication."

Dunning's birthday was Friday, Nov. 6. A birthday card, unsigned, was found in her mother's apartment and turned over to state police as evidence.

Dunning said she has met with state police and Weissport police who are in charge of the investigation, but believes law enforcement could be doing more.

"We, my brother and I, need to know where my mother is, and we would like state police to allow search teams to come in, but so far they don't seem to be taking this seriously enough."

Dunning said that state police wouldn't take a statement from her for 48 hours, even though she insisted that her mother needed her medication.

"She takes 18 pills twice a day," Dunning added.

Dunning said that her mother and stepfather parted ways as friends.

She also learned that a previous ex-husband was incarcerated in Florida in September, before her mother went missing, so he has been ruled out as a person of interest.

"Honestly, I don't know what to think happened to her," said Dunning, "But I know that my mother would not want to be far away from her medication."

Dunning said that she spent part of her childhood in Lehighton, and then the family moved to Monroe County, where she finished classes at Pleasant Valley High School.

"My mother left the relationship with my stepfather on Feb. 9," she said. "That is when she moved from my step-father's house to Weissport and started up a relationship with Richard Kern."

She said that her mother and Kern had a past relationship, and that her mother has a lot of friends in the area.

Kern has previously stated that he started the relationship with Weaver in September.

"I know that when I called my mother on Thursday night that a woman named Amy answered the phone at my mother's apartment and she didn't know who my mother was," said Dunning. "I know that my mother's boyfriend did not call me to tell me that my mother was missing on Thursday morning. I found out when I called Thursday night to speak to her."

Dunning said that she also knows that Kern accessed her mother's checking account and withdrew $50 three days after she went missing. The account was at $70 after he made the withdrawal.

Her daughter said she supported herself on $900 she received because of her disability. She had paid the rent through November. There has been no other action on Weaver's account.

Weaver had plans to go grocery shopping on Thursday night with another friend.

Weaver and Kern did not drive so they walked everywhere they needed to go, except when they were offered rides by friends.

Weaver's friend, Kim Everett, said she often warned Weaver to not be so trusting.

"I often told her not to get into cars if she didn't know people," said Everett.

Weissport Police officer Steve Mansueto said that teams have searched every vacant building and shed in Weissport. They have also repeatedly searched the rooms at the Boathouse Bar and have looked in travel trailers and dumpsters in the vicinity of the Boathouse Bar.

Mansueto confirmed that her boyfriend accessed her account, but Mansueto said that Kern did have Weaver's permission to use the account in the past. Mansueto said that Kern also tried to cash a check at the Lunch Room written on Weaver's account for $50 before he used the ATM card at the Weissport House.

Mansueto said a credible witness believes he saw Weaver make a right turn from the Boathouse Bar the night she disappeared.

Weaver did not have a cell phone and did not carry a purse. She was last seen at about 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 4, leaving the Boathouse Bar, Canal Road, which is in Franklin Township.

She is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weights approximately 210 lbs. She was wearing a dark gray hooded sweat shirt. Anyone with any information about Weaver's disappearance is asked to call state police at (610) 377-4270 or Weissport Police at (610) 377-0851.

Dunning said she and her brother are offering a reward for information that leads to finding her mother.

A search team comprised of friends has widened their search of the Lehigh River to Easton.

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