http://www.leaderherald.com/page/content.detail/id/506470.html?nav=5011Missing woman's brother issues plea
POSTED: October 11, 2008
JOHNSTOWN - The brother of the city woman now missing for 11 days on Friday made a media appeal to his sister to come home, no strings attached.
Thomas Kilcullen of Canajoharie - the brother of missing resident Kellisue M. Ackernecht - told The Leader-Herald he wanted to get an urgent message to his sister if she's reading the newspaper.
"All I can say is if Kellisue is reading this, our family is missing her," Kilcullen said. "We're missing her and we want her to come home. I'll come to wherever you are. I will be there."
The 43-year-old Kilcullen - a technician for Lift Tech Equipment in Syracuse - said he hasn't talked to his sister in a couple of months. But he said he and their half-brother - Connecticut resident Chris Clouston - are still very close to Kellisue.
"Normally, we talk quite often with her," Kilcullen said. "This is highly unusual for her to disappear."
Ackernecht, 36, of 330 W. Main St., is the subject of an ongoing search by Johnstown police. Police said she left her job at Rite Aid in Amsterdam the night of Sept. 30. She was reported missing by her husband, Jayson Ackernecht, in the early morning hours of Oct. 1 - about the same time the car she was driving was found on fire at West Montgomery and Chestnut streets.
The area, known as Frog Hollow, is about three blocks south of the Ackernecht home.
Johnstown police Lt. Mark Gifford said Friday that Ackernecht remains missing.
"Leads are still being followed," he said.
Gifford was asked if Johnstown police are working with police from Amsterdam, where Ackernecht was last seen.
"Police often work with other agencies," he responded, not directly answering.
When asked if his department will accept an offer to have a state search team come in, Gifford stated, "It's being considered. Right now there's things more pressing ... in this case."
Kilcullen said their parents are deceased, but Kellisue still has much extended family in the area and in Connecticut that want her to return home safely.
The missing woman and her husband have an elementary school-age daughter.
"Everybody on his [Jayson's] side of the family is trashing her," Kilcullen said. "My main concern is how it has affected her daughter."
His brother-in-law, Jayson, granted an interview with The Leader-Herald earlier in the week after media reports surfaced about Kellisue's disappearance. Jayson's sister's, Kim Ackernecht, has since indicated she and her family will not be answering future questions from the newspaper.
In that interview, Jayson Ackernecht indicated he was on disability and was concerned with less income coming in with his wife missing. Kilcullen said he noticed Jayson is "worried" about that situation, but stopped short of commenting further.
He said his sister and Jayson were having some problems.
"I know they had marital problems," Kilcullen said. "I don't know the whole details."
Kilcullen said he has been interviewed by police and gave them what he knows. He also said he was disappointed that Jayson Ackernecht didn't call him until 8 a.m. Oct. 1 to tell him about his sister's disappearance - about six or seven hours after the car fire.
Kilcullen said the only real family connection he's noticed when he's visited his sister in the past has been the bond between the mother and daughter.
"Whenever I've been there [in Johnstown], it's always Kelli and her daughter," he said. "She keeps very good care of her daughter."
He said his sister probably wouldn't leave her husband without thinking of her daughter.
"If she has taken off to try to better her life, I can't believe she would leave her daughter behind for that long," Kilcullen said.
Kilcullen said he has done some independent investigation into his sister's disappearance since Oct. 1. He said he searched the campsite of a family member and has given police some tips.
"I've done some searching around myself," Kilcullen said.
Kilcullen said he thought it was "kind of odd" that his brother-in-law, Jayson, was wearing his Sir William Johnson Volunteer Fire Department clothes while distributing missing posters Thursday.
Excluding The Leader-Herald, he said, he's disappointed the local media haven't given more coverage of the case. If the case were happening in Albany or Schenectady, Kilcullen said, there would probably be more Capital Region news coverage.
So far, the search for Kellisue Ackernecht has involved intense police investigation, K-9 dogs, a state police helicopter and missing posters being put up in the area. Police have declined to answer specific questions about the case, other than to give out the missing woman's description.
Kellisue M. Ackernecht is five feet 10 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds. Her family says she has "short brown, natural curly hair with red highlights."
The family also says Kellisue was last seen wearing tan slacks, a black shirt, new white sneakers, tan stockings and brown glasses.
People may call Johnstown police at 736-4021 with confidential information on the case.