MISSING: Des Moines woman never returned from New Orleans, family fears worst

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 12:32pm

Jessica Pratt’s return flight from New Orleans was supposed to arrive on Sunday, Feb. 10. However, she never boarded that flight, and her friends and family are desperate to know what happened.

“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, 34, traveled to New Orleans on Wednesday, Feb. 6 to work at local clubs for the Mardi Gras weekend.

“She flew to New Orleans by herself to meet up with two girlfriends,” Partee explained. “Her friends ended up leaving Thursday morning [Feb. 7], and she stayed behind for a few more days.”

No one has seen or heard from Pratt since.

“We checked her phone records, and the last time she texted someone was on Wednesday,” Partee noted. “We couldn’t see what the texts actually said, just that she was texting.”

Officials tell us additional phone calls may have been placed on the phone. However, it is possible her phone may have been stolen. They did manage to track down her last known whereabouts at a hotel on Tulane Street on Friday.

“They did tell us that some of her things were left behind in the room,” Partee said. “We haven’t seen them for ourselves, so we cannot be certain they are hers.”

Compounding fears is the fact that Pratt suffers from pancreatitis.

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

That’s why her family is so desperate for information, which has been difficult to obtain given that they are located over a thousand miles away.

“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.”

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 Facebook page has been created to update on the search.

If you know anything regarding the whereabouts of Jessica Pratt, please call the New Orleans Police Department at (504) 821-2222.


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