"Hallelujah": Missing mother and daughter found safe

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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Outagamie County Sheriff's Office says a missing mother and daughter from Dale are safe.

Photos provided

Jill Rousseau, 55, and her daughter, Jordan, 21, were last seen Sunday, June 16.

The sheriff's office says law enforcement is in communication with the women. "They are no longer believed to be in danger," a statement says.

The sheriff's office isn't releasing further information, such as their location or how they were found, but the husband and father of the women told us the authorities received a tip on their whereabouts and responded.

Action 2 News reporter Jason Zimmerman talked with Kelly Rousseau shortly after Rousseau got the news.

"The pastor came up to me and said, 'Kelly, the sheriff's department is here. They want to talk to you, and you want to stay positive in your brain.' And so we came out and found a private area and he said, 'They are alive and safe,' and I just went, ah, hallelujah," Rousseau said.

He was excited but isn't sure when he'll be reunited with his wife and daughter.

"The sheriff's department has a bunch of information they wanted to give me and all this, but I said, 'You know what, they're alive and safe. Hopefully they're coming home tonight. The sheriff's department is in contact with them and they're working on it."

The news came as friends were holding a vigil for the missing women at Calvary Bible Church.

"I think to get this news at a prayer meeting when someone has been gone for two-and-a-half days is amazing," Rousseau said. "You want to prepare for the best, but you never know what's going to happen. Again, it's just an awesome time to answer prayer in a prayer meeting."

The Outagamie County Sheriff's Office wrote, "We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support from the community. Word spread quickly and the concern was clearly visible."


Kelly Rousseau, the husband of Jill and father of Jordan, held a news conference Wednesday. CLICK HERE to watch. He says that he believes his wife and daughter were abducted.

"My opinion--and I want to emphasize my opinion, this has nothing to do with the sheriff's department--is that they were abducted. Because nothing else makes sense," Kelly Rousseau says.

A prayer vigil for the Rousseau women is being held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Calvary Bible Church.

Kelly Rousseau says Jill and Jordan were last seen Sunday in Menasha. Jill practices alternative medicine at Oasis Wellness Center on 600 Century Oaks. Jordan has a sewing and alteration business in the same building. At about 3:45 p.m., surveillance cameras captured Jill pull their Ford Expedition into the business and back up. The tailgate hatch opens. Kelly says nothing happened until they drove away from the business 15 minutes later, about 4 p.m. Rousseau says it appears both women were in the vehicle at that time.

The vehicle was seen turning right and traveling north on Racine Street, which becomes Valley Rd. Kelly Rousseau says that's the last known sighting of Jill and Jordan.

Kelly says he had been traveling Sunday after attending a cousin's funeral in Minnesota. He says he called Jill from the road in Hudson and spoke to her at about 1 p.m. He couldn't remember if he called her cell phone or landline number. She told him she planned on working in the garden that day. Kelly said he wife talked of plans to pick up some papers at her office at Oasis Wellness Center in Menasha.

Kelly made another stop for dinner with friends in Wausau. He says he called Jill and there was no answer.

Kelly says he returned home at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday.

"Sunday when I got home--we live in the country and we have chickens--and when I got home I drove in the yard and there's chickens out in the yard. Which means to me that they were just going to run somewhere real quick and come back," Kelly says.

He recounted doing chores around the house. At 9:15 p.m., he became concerned.

"OK this is kind of odd. She [Jill] hasn't called me. She's not home yet. So then I called her and her cell phone rang in the house. And that all of a sudden, I went, that's kind of weird. She didn't take her cell phone," Kelly Rousseau says.

Rousseau says he found his daughter's phone on the couch. It was turned off.

Rousseau said he woke up early Monday morning and traveled to Menasha. In the basement of the family business, there are two futons. Kelly says they are there in case someone gets snowed in, or his daughter wants to take a nap. She runs her sewing studio out of the basement. Kelly says it appeared someone had slept in one of the futons.

He contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Rousseau says nothing in the family home had been disturbed.

He described his wife as "analytical" and his daughter as a "social butterfly who loves to dance." Kelly said the mom and daughter have been known to go on girl's trips for a weekend, but he said it would be unusual for them to leave without telling him.

"It was nothing where they were just going away and I don't know," Kelly says.

Kelly said investigators have questioned him and asked about the family's financial situation and life insurance policies. The Sheriff's Office said Kelly is not considered a suspect in the disappearance.

"I have nothing to hide. I want my daughter and wife back," Kelly said.

Investigators say they are looking into all the leads, but they do not know where the women could be.

"We have no indication that they were leaving for a trip. We have no indication that they were leaving unexpectedly, or that they were choosing to do this from obviously signs, obvious indicators out there. At this time, it just is, we're not sure where they went," says Sgt. Nathan Borman, Outagamie County Sheriff's Office.

CLICK HERE to watch Borman's news conference.

Jill and Jordan are believed to be driving a 2011 Ford Expedition King Ranch. It has a maroon top and tan bottom. The photo in the story shows a similar vehicle.

It has a Wisconsin license plate number 650-PPM.

Borman says investigators are getting tips from across the country, but there are nothing leading them to the vehicle. He says it would be out of character for the women to leave without telling anyone.

"As two adults, you choose to leave, that's perfectly OK. My concern is, did they choose to leave? We don't know. We have no indicator to tell us that they did this voluntarily. They didn't contact any family and say hey, we're going out here for a little bit or we're taking a break or anything like that," Borman said.

Kelly Rousseau says he just wants to hear from his wife and daughter. He says he's thankful for the support he's received.

"Call me. Call the Sheriff's Department. Call someone. There's thousands of people. It's international. There's thousands of people praying," Rousseau says.

Jordan Rousseau's best friend, Johanna Kopecky, also wants her friend home. She doesn't believe they left voluntarily.

"I'd ask her to please come back, because we all really miss both of them and love both of them and I don't know why they'd leave without telling anybody. But if they did, just please come back and then it will all be OK again," Johanna said.

Kopecky said she had returned from a trip to the Upper Peninsula on Saturday and had three text messages from Jordan. She texted her back that day.

On Monday night, Johanna said she received a message from Kelly Rousseau stating that Jill and Jordan had gone missing. They talked on the phone and Kelly Rousseau described to her what he told the media at the news conference, Kopecky says.

Kelly Rousseau and Johanna Kopecky shared a tearful embrace at the end of the news conference. "Your hair reminds me of Jill's," Kelly Rousseau told Johanna. She replied, "Really?"

If you have any information that can help investigators, contact Sgt. Mike Fitzpatrick at 920-832-5279. You can also contact the Outagamie County Dispatch Center at 920-832-5500. The incident number is 19-026089.

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