Local News

Amber Alert issued for Mooresville sisters; one pregnant

Posted September 29, 2009
Updated September 30, 2009

— An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday evening for missing Mooresville sisters Keara and Sierra Hess, 12 and 11, who are believed to be with their stepfather, Matthew Hess, 40.

Keara, who is nicknamed "Diamond," is nine months pregnant and was scheduled to deliver a baby boy by Cesarean section last Thursday because of complications she was having, authorities said. 

Keara told her mother that a young boy is the baby's father. However, she never named the father, authorities said.

Amber Alert issued for missing Mooresville siblings Amber Alert issued for Mooresville sisters

Janette Hess, the girls' mother, said her husband left her a note last Thursday saying he was taking the girls to school. Later that day, Keara missed her doctor's appointment and the three haven't been seen since.

"Please just drop them off, please! I just want the girls (to be) OK," Janette Hess said.

Authorities said they waited several days to issue the Amber Alert because Matthew Hess is the girls' legal guardian and has not broken any laws by taking them. Also, Janette Hess told investigators that the girls had a good relationship with their stepfather and that she initially wasn't worried about their safety.

She and Matthew Hess were legally separated but had gotten back together this summer and were living together at the time the girls went missing, authorities said.

When Janette Hess first reported her daughters missing, authorities said they thought something might have happened to the three on the way to school. However, after further investigation at the family's house, it appeared that the girls and Matthew Hess had packed for an extended trip, officials said.

Keara is approximately 5 feet 1 inches tall and weighs 128 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. Sierra is approximately 5 feet tall and weighs 100 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes.

Matthew Hess is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has brown hair and green eyes. He also has three tattoos: a blue devil on his right upper arm, a heart with a ribbon going through it on his left upper arm and a blue dragon on his left forearm.

Investigators said they think he might be driving a green 1993 Ford Explorer with N.C. license tag YTE-8014. The back right passenger window is broken out and is covered with Plexiglass, which is duct-taped in place.

Matthew Hess and the girls might be en route to Fayetteville or Tennessee.

"They're going to have to surface at some point in time," said Iredell County sheriff's spokeswoman Lt. Julie Gibson. "They're going to need food. Keara's going to go into labor. They're obviously going to need baby supplies. So I feel at this point that we'll find them and they're going to be hopefully OK."

Anyone with any information should call the Iredell County Sheriff's Office at 704-878-3100, or call 911 or *HP.


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  • Jack Flash Oct 1, 2009

    Well, I would advocate for caution and refraining from judging what we don't fully know, but since that's pretty much a lost cause, I might as well fight fire with fire...
    From the article:
    "Keara told her mother that a young boy is the baby's father. However, she never named the father, authorities said."
    Had the girls never disappeared, none of us would have ever heard about 12-year-old Keara and her pregnancy. And for that matter, when her safety was in doubt, the father's identity was immaterial. If I was the mom and I did know, I don't think I'd reveal it. Why is there any right for the public to know? It's a matter for the authorities. If the father is indeed a peer, his identity would be protected anyway, wouldn't it? And what are you going to do to a 12-year-old who won't tell, waterboard her?

    I wonder how many people here condemning a pregnant 12-year-old are Pro-Life, and who interact approvingly with young teens or even tweens who have aborted pregnancies...

  • Eduardo1 Sep 30, 2009

    Hey, wake up and smell the flowers. They were found by noon in Tennessee. Get the reports up-to-date

  • justcommonsense Sep 30, 2009

    I like many of you feel that the whole story is not out. I only hope and pray for the safety of these girls.

    As to all the comments about "where were the parents while this child was getting pregnant etc etc....guess what folks? It only takes a few minutes to get pregnant..and...it can happen anytime of the day. 12 year olds wanting to experiment with no thought to consequences..happens all over the world every day. Not to mention the fact that it was not so very far in our past history that girls were typically considered to be a "woman" by the age of 12-13...by the age of 18 if not married...you were a spinster or something wrong with you. Mankind has changed very little since the beginning, we just view things differently and the media blasts us with everything.

    On the other side of the coin....something smells very fishy here....and yes, I've had run the same gamut of thoughts about the adoptive father. We shall see..I just pray they are safe.

  • familyfour Sep 30, 2009

    Golly, I despise making assumptions this early, so I'll refrain from suffering you all through what I think....

    I will say this. I don't give a flying flip WHO leaves with my two children...dad...granny....don't care...they don't get to school, or get home, there will be hell to pay THEN....not days later. No person will do that to a child they truly care for....this is the act of someone hiding something, and/or using them for leverage for something.

    It is not normal behavior.

    I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg of story of these two girls. May they make it home safely.

  • delilahk2000 Sep 30, 2009


  • arljsl Sep 30, 2009

    something just sounds fishy about this story..the adopted father is probably the one that is the baby daddy!!!

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Sep 30, 2009

    If the mom is in on the "kidnapping" as some of you said, why would she even report it? The child is with one of her legal guardians. If they were trying to "sell" the baby, I am sure they would not have brought so much attention to themselves.

  • affirmativediversity Sep 30, 2009

    Has the world gone topsy turvy? Are people really not as horrified as me? A 12 YEAR OLD pops up pregnant and its apparently BUSINESS AS USUAL? This 12 YEAR OLD says "my baby's daddy is none of your business" and its BUSINESS AS USUAL???


    If the baby's daddy is "another young child" HOW OLD IS HE???


  • kiediss Sep 30, 2009

    quick, someone get Jerry Springer on the line. One word-- disturbing.

  • whateveryousay Sep 30, 2009

    So they have indeed been found. In TN. Now we will see this story unfold.