KANSAS CITY — A woman who has been missing since Jan. 2 was in the process of getting a divorce from her husband, who has made inconsistent statements about when he last saw her, according to a court affidavit released Friday.
The affidavit for a search warrant says Shon Pernice, an Independence firefighter, used an electronic keycard to enter the back door of the Independence hazmat station — where solvents and other cleaning materials are stored — at 4:26 a.m. Jan. 3, even though he was not assigned to that station.
Renee Pernice, a 35-year-old nursing instructor, has two sons and a stepdaughter and is not the kind of person who would separate herself from her children for any reason, family members have told police. Investigators believe she is a victim of foul play.
Pernice told his wife's relatives that he last saw her on New Year's Day, according to the affidavit, but told detectives several days later that he last saw her on Jan. 2.
On Jan. 6, detectives saw him drive the family minivan to a park more than a mile away from the family's home, drop off his wife's dog and drive away. Detectives picked up the dog after Pernice did not return.
Shon Pernice's attorney, Kevin Baldwin, said he has instructed Pernice not to comment or allow police to interview him because Pernice believes he is being blamed for his wife's disappearance.
Police found Renee Pernice's cell phone on Jan. 3 in the northeast area of Kansas City, and on Monday dozens of volunteers searched a wooded area near the Pernice home.
According to a returned search warrant, investigators found a fake Navy Seal identification card with Shon Pernice's name and photograph when they searched the family's home, which Renee Pernice bought before she married Shon.
Investigators also removed from the home satellite equipment, an external thumb drive, a nursing notebook, a pineapple-style grenade with a hollowed-out bottom and a spent fuse.
Police said Shon Pernice, who is a member of the National Guard and has served with the Army in Iraq, was scheduled to leave for a three-week military session and then was planning to move out of the home.
Investigators interviewed the mother of Shon Pernice's daughter, who visited with her dad on Jan. 2. The woman told police that her daughter sent an e-mail around 9:30 p.m. telling her that she was ready to come home and was worried because Renee Pernice was not there.
The woman said she noticed the family van parked outside the home when she picked up her daughter from the Pernice home the next morning, the affidavit said. She said that was unusual because the van was always parked in the garage, police said.
Renee Pernice is described as white, 5 feet 9 inches tall and slender, with blue eyes and shoulder-length brown hair.