More than 80 people combed the trails, streets and riversides surrounding Art Dye Park in American Fork on Saturday morning, searching for a woman who has been missing since Feb. 18.
Jerika Binks, 24, was last seen at a residential treatment center near North County Boulevard in American Fork the morning of Feb. 18, according to information from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. She told roommates she was going running, left all her belongings except for her cellphone in her room and never returned.
One of her aunts, Lynda Conover, was part of the search group Saturday, which consisted of family, friends, ham radio operators and drone pilots. The searchers split up into seven groups and searched assigned sections spanning from the park to Canyon Road.
“She’d always run the Murdock Trail,” Conover said, so the family was concentrating their search along the trails, roads and rivers that come off that trail.
“That girl can run. That was her normal thing. She loved exercising,” Conover said, adding that Binks had been excited about trying out a new pair of running shoes.
After Binks was reported missing, the last pings from her phone hit in Pleasant Grove, American Fork and Lehi, then the phone shut off, Conover said. That left a large area to search.
“This weekend is the first weekend we’ve had clear ground and clear weather since then,” said Paul Conover, Lynda’s husband. “At this point, any kind of info would be a step in the right direction.”
Corliss Jarvis, one of Binks’ grandmothers, and Sydney Thomas, an aunt, were part of the search party as well. Their area covered 2600 North in Pleasant Grove towards Canyon Road, along the Murdock Trail and around Manila Creek Park. Part of their party knocked on doors in the neighborhoods asking residents if they’d seen Binks.
“I just wish somebody knew something,” Jarvis said.
“Good or bad, you want an answer so you can come to terms with it,” Thomas added.
Jerika Binks’ older brother, Jed Binks, organized Saturday’s search, and was grateful the morning was clear. Unfortunately, searchers found nothing linked to his sister, he said Saturday evening.
“But at least we knocked out a whole grid,” he said. “Anything helps.”
Jerika Binks is white, female, 5-foot-4, 120 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Her brother asked that people in the community look at her picture, and report anything they might know about her whereabouts. Foul play has not been ruled out, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
If you have information on Binks, call (801) 851-4013 or (801) 794-3970.