At just 19-years-old, Savanah Ringer has dedicated her life to finding her mother.
Her mother, Joanne ‘Jo’ Ringer of Clarksburg has been missing for months. While Savanah -- along with family and friends -- wait for answers, investigators are treating the search as a homicide investigation with her late husband, Chad Reidy, as the sole suspect, charging his ex-girlfriend, Laura Reilly, with three counts of misleading a police officer. On Monday, May 22, Reilly appeared in Northern Berkshire District Court for a pretrial hearing, which was continued to June 30, 2017, where she will go before a grand jury.
Ringer was last seen on March 2, 2017. The 39-year-old was set to start a new job as a driver at Aaron’s Paradise Transportation in Easthampton. She was scheduled to work the overnight shift.
It was on that very same day that investigators say Reidy took a long drive across Western Massachusetts with Reilly.
According to documents obtained by Western Mass News, Reilly told investigators that Reidy sent her a text message on March 2, telling her to meet him in downtown Northampton to give him a ride to his car.
Just four days later, on March 6, Jo’s dark green Volkswagen Jetta sedan with Connecticut plates was found abandoned on Exeter Street in Easthampton, roughly a 1-minute drive from Reilly’s house.
About a month later, on April 7, Reidy was found dead of an apparent suicide in his detached garage, next to the house where he and Jo lived in Clarksburg.
On Monday, May 22, Savanah went to court for Reilly’s pretrial hearing.
"It felt good for me to be able to look at her and see her now that we know the things that we do," said Savanah, adding that she doesn’t know much.
All Savanah wants is to find out what happened to her mother and where she is. She told Western Mass News that the last few difficult months have been made easier by her strong support system.
"Being able to come to the house and be around her things and things that she loved helps a lot," said Savanah, standing outside the Clarksburg home where her mother lived with Reidy.
Savanah goes to the house at least once a week, to be around her mother’s things and to take home what she wants to have with her. She brings along close friends, like Ginger Plantier, who used to scrapbook with Jo in the basement, and invites others, like Jo’s foster sister, Kendra Rossi.
“We fought like sisters and loved like sisters,” said Rossi. “We loved each other.”
The women found artificial red roses hanging from curtains in Jo’s makeup room, so they each took one and pinned it to their shirts.
"Flowers that she had hanging, it helps us keep those feelings of having her there," said Rossi.
Remnants of the life Jo shared with her husband still exist throughout the home. Dirty dishes in the sink, Jo’s makeup strewn about her vanity, Chad’s clothing piled atop the air mattress the two slept on.
All of these details are reminders for Jo’s loved ones that they still don’t know where she is.
"So many people loved this person,” said Ginger Plantier, one of Jo’s closest friends. “She was amazing.”
Plantier was unable to walk into the basement, where Jo kept her scrapbooking materials. It was a hobby the two shared -- they’d spend hours in that basement.
“When I say she loved scrapbooking, she really loved scrapbooking,” said Savanah, pointing at the dozens of markers, scissors and photo albums piled on top of a table.
“We don’t know anything and they’re not giving us any information,” said Savanah.
Authorities told Western Mass News the cars belonging to Jo Ringer, Chad Reidy and Laura Reilly are a big part of the investigation. They urge anyone with information to contact Massachusetts State Police.
Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.