CEDAR RAPIDS – Family members have said they believe a 4-year-old girl and her grandfather, who were both reported missing in recent days, are together and possibly headed to a different state.
Natasha R. Zieser, who turns 5-years-old next week, was reported missing by her father Tuesday evening, around the same time other family members reported her grandfather, 75-year-old Henry N. Ricklefs, missing. Police confirmed the relationship between the two Wednesday morning.
Family members have told police they believe the little girl is with her mother, who has legal custodial rights, and Ricklefs. Police do not believe the little girl nor Ricklefs are in danger, but family members told The Gazette they are very concerned.
Natasha’s aunt, Lisa Jordan, 43, of Cedar Rapids, said she kept the little girl last Friday evening. Jordan said her sister showed up earlier than expected around 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning to pick up Natasha. Jordan said she last heard from her sister around 2:30 p.m., saying they were at Adventureland in Altoona, but she questions whether she was told the truth.
Natasha was supposed to have visitation with her father Sunday, but no one showed up, family members said.
Family members told The Gazette three different vehicles have been registered under the name of Natasha’s mother in the past few weeks — a purple 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 1999 black Chevrolet Blazer and a 1990 brown Ford Econoline van. Jordan said oxygen tanks and medication that her father needs were left behind at his residence. Natasha also does not have her inhaler with her, family members said.
Cedar Rapids police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin there are currently no criminal charges that are applicable, because the mother has custodial rights. At this point, they are treating the case as a welfare check.
Investigators have contacted police in at least one other state about at least two possible addresses to check, Hamblin said.
“There haven’t been any threats made,” Hamblin said. “We just want to make sure they are both OK.”
According to family members:
- Natasha R. Zieser, 4, was last seen with her mother around 10 a.m. Saturday at the Budget Inn, 3100 16th Ave. SW. She is white, with brown hair and blue eyes, between 3 feet and 3 feet, 6 inches tall and around 50 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue pajamas with Santas on them and purple sandals.
- Henry N. Ricklefs, 75, was last seen around 3 p.m. on Aug. 30 at 1450 16th Ave. SW, No. 104. He is white, with gray hair and blue eyes, 5-foot-10 and around 270 pounds. He is mentally handicapped.
Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call Cedar Rapids police at (319) 286-5491.