On August 28, Jersey City is under the gun of Hurricane Irene, one of the first to hit the area in a long time. Not such great weather for a 32 year old mother to be missing from her child and her family. And yet, her husband, Steven Acuna doesn't seem to see the importance of cooperating with the investigation surrounding her whereabouts. Good friends and family members have formed teams to saturate the area with posters, hoping that a clue will come in from the community, something that will help determine where she might be.
According to news reports, on Tuesday, August 16, Steven Acuna filed a missing person report stating that he and Randy had an argument on August 13 and she stormed out of the house, leaving her 10 month old daughter, Stephanie, behind. Acuna waited three days after the argument, until August 16, to report Randy Lehrer missing. The last person to see her, he called the restaurant where she worked on Monday, August 15 to tell co-workers that she had gone to care for her ailing mother in Canada. When her mother was contacted, it was discovered that she was just fine and that Randy wasn't there.
Here we have Steven Acuna giving two different accounts to what happened before he stopped cooperating and will no longer talk to investigators without an attorney. Clearly Acuna is doing everything he can to delay the investigators, forcing them to get warrants, subpoenas and court orders to proceed, frustrating an already busy department.
What was happening before the argument? It's reported by neighbors and friends that the couple argued a lot, and that the week before her disappearance, Randy was heard kicking Acuna out of the house, telling him to never return. It's not been reported whether there was any ongoing violence in the relationship, or if there had been any police reports of intimate partner violence filed with local agencies, but with what is known, Steven Acuna is being examined closely. Even though Acuna was arrested on a prior warrant, he posted bail and is caring for 10 month old, Stephanie, which is concerning.
Randy's friends, co-workers at Tommy's Restaurant, and the community have rallied around the missing mother, holding vigils and passing out fliers. They are also talking with investigators about their knowledge of the relationship, hoping there is a clue that will help solve her disappearance and bring her home.
A private investigator, Charles Hannon, has offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to the return of Lehrer.
There is a Facebook page created by friends to bring awareness: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Have-You-Seen-Randy-Amanda-Lehrer/211610325558914?sk=wall
- A family member should register the case with a reputable missing persons organization like CUE Center for Missing Persons, in order to have trained liaisons and advocates to assist.
- Family members must submit DNA and be certain all information is registered properly with CODIS and NamUs.
- Use social media resources as well as traditional media, and radio shows to keep the case alive and facts in the public eye. (Crime Wire, The Roth Show, The Susan Murphy Milano Show, and Jon Leiberman have all contributed greatly to awareness and bringing forth clues in missing persons cases)
- Create a simple website where all pertinent information is housed, a place where the family is in charge, and a place where they can share their thoughts.
- Do not take anything for granted in an investigation, be persistent, diligent and hold on to hope. Talk to others who have been, or who are still, in the same position with a missing loved one. They are a great source of strength. (Peace4 the Missing is a great source of support and information)
- Pray, a lot.
Lehrer is 5-foot-2, 145 lbs., with brown hair and brown eyes and a fair complexion. Her right shoulder bears a tattoo that reads “Laugh Now Cry Later,” police said. She was last seen publicly around 2 p.m. on Aug. 12 after leaving her waitress job at Tommy’s.Anyone with information about Lehrer's whereabouts is urged to call Jersey City Police Department - Missing Persons Unit at 201-547 5427. All calls will remain confidential.
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