DENVER — Erin Vandewiele went missing less than a month after moving from Wisconsin to Denver with a man she was seeing and after sending texts that concerned her family and friends.
The man, Joe Mayer, was arrested on outstanding warrants that are unrelated to this case, but she is nowhere to be found.
"We’re very worried, especially after we’ve seen text messages that she had sent another friend that she was scared that Joe was going to hurt her," said Mandi Schmidt, the woman's sister.
No one has heard from Vandewiele since July 23. A friend reported her missing to the Denver Police Department shortly after their communication ended but the last few text messages from her are troubling.
One text reads, "He's gonna kill me if I don't get away from him today."
Stacey Morris said she had a bad feeling when she met Mayer for the first time and he tried to offer her drugs. She said Vandewiele told her via text that she was scared for her life.
"I feel like something is terribly wrong," Morris said. "We’re pretty much worried that she might be dead and that she’s not going to be able to come home to her kids and her sister."
Police arrested Mayer in Denver, and he was brought back to Wisconsin on outstanding warrants. Denver police are investigating the case and detectives are asking for the public's help to find her.
According to Schmidt, her sister's ID and social security card were found on an RTD bus in Denver. She also has a selfie of Vandewiele that was taken near Union Station.
The family believes she was in the area of downtown Denver and Lakewood. During that time she stayed at an unknown motel and in homeless shelters.
Her sister is trying to raise money so she can travel to Denver and pass out missing person flyers.
Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-6653.