Brother of missing Des Moines woman travels to New Orleans to continue search

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 6:00pm

The brother of a missing Des Moines woman traveled to New Orleans to try and gain answers about her disappearance.

“I love her to death,” Josh Pratt told WDSU. “I just want her to come home. This is not like her at all.”

Jessica Pratt, 34, was last seen in New Orleans on Thursday, Feb. 7. She traveled to the Crescent City to work at nightclubs during Mardi Gras. However, she never made her return flight.

“She’s a mother of three children. She’s a single mom and a really good person with a big, caring heart,” Ashley Partee, a long-time friend of Pratt, said. “She would never go this long without contacting her kids. Her father had surgery this past week, and she has called him each day to check in.”

Pratt was scheduled to return to Des Moines on Sunday, Feb. 10, but she never boarded the flight. Her family filed a missing persons report with the Des Moines Police Department and pushed information on Facebook.

“It’s mentally exhausting,” Partee said when asked how the search is impacting those involved. “The police are helping, but we feel like it’s not a priority because it’s Mardi Gras. We’re trying to do as much as we can as her friends and family to bring her home safe. Any help or information would be appreciated.”

The good news is that officials say there’s no reason to suspect foul play at this time. However, that’s little comfort to her family because Jessica suffers from a pre-existing medical condition.

“She has pancreatitis. We think she has been drinking, so we fear her health may not be good,” Partee admitted.

More than a thousand miles separate the search team from Jessica’s last known whereabouts.. For that reason, her brother traveled to New Orleans on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

“We are going to stay until we find her,” Josh Pratt said.

Pratt is described as 5’7” tall, 120 pounds, shoulder length blond hair and hazel eyes. She has a cross tattoo on her right hand, a heart on her left hand, and the initials JP tattooed on her ankle.

A donation account has been established in Des Moines to pay for the search expenses. Contributions can be made at the United Service Credit Union, 909 9th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50265. Checks should be made payable to Josh Pratt.



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