Those who saw Gretchen Fleming last remember her

WTAP News @ 6 - Those who saw Gretchen Fleming last remember her
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 7:18 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - As the search for Gretchen Fleming continues, we reached out to one of the bars where she was seen before arriving at the My Way Lounge the night she went missing.

Former employees with the Front Row Sports Bar and Grill say that Gretchen was a regular there and was there the night she disappeared before being last seen at the My Way Lounge.

The bartender who was there the night of her disappearance, Kacee Farnsworth says that Gretchen was there with someone who is not considered the person of interest and was there until 11 p.m.

Another employee, Jessica McAtee says that Gretchen’s purse with her phone and other materials was turned into the front row the following morning. And it was there for a week until her father, David Fleming picked up the purse on December 11.

“When we hear about something like this happening, it just strikes you right through the soul. Because you’re like ‘I was just with her.’ Or ‘I just talked to her.’ Like, ‘How could something like this happen this way?’ And then when you hear terrifying stories come up about this person that she was last seen with,” says McAtee. “And just things keep coming to light and people talking about it through the bars. And it’s just crazy. It really is. And you would never expect something like this to happen.”

Both employees say that it’s a difficult thing to see this happen to someone they knew from high school and seeing at the Front Row Bar and are worried about the person of interest she was seen with from the My Way Lounge.

“It’s a weird feeling,” says Farnsworth. “We were both talking about it earlier actually. Because like there’s been a few different cases like this that’s happened from working at the bar. And it’s very scary as a customer or a bartender. Because anything could happen. And I know that this person of interest has had a lot of cases or like issues in the past. And nothing’s been done about it. And I think that’s really part of the problem.”

Parkersburg police are still not releasing the name of the person of interest.

But, WTAP has been able to identify that man as 55-year-old Preston Pierce. He has also gone by the name of Darrell Lott.

We have also confirmed that he worked for several police departments in West Virginia. Including in Barbour County and in Jackson County and with the Vienna Police Department. There have been no charges or arrests made in connection with this case.