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• Video Below: The search for Karen Jenkins
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For Kent Jenkins, the comfort was that he was out of the house and not thinking about the unknown.
He knocked on doors Thursday, armed with a notebook and some fliers printed up earlier in the day. The fliers showed a picture of a smiling woman with short hair and hoop earrings.
“Can I give you a flier? It's a picture of a missing lady. . .”
Kent Jenkins, 52, didn't tell everyone he came across that the missing woman was his sister, Karen Jenkins, who was last seen Sunday.
He didn't tell them how he and his siblings are agonizing over her whereabouts. How it wasn't like her, a successful businesswoman and teacher, to take off without telling anyone.
Karen Jenkins, 48, youngest of six children, grew up near 37th and Maple Streets and attended Holy Name High School before going on to earn multiple college degrees and teach.
About 20 people canvassed the 40th Street and Ames Avenue neighborhood near where she was last seen.
Jenkins' car was found in the parking lot of a bar she was renovating, Hank's Place at 3922 Ames Ave.
The back door to the bar was open. Her cell phone, keys and purse were missing.
Police have said they have not ruled out foul play.
Jenkins was planning on re-opening the bar this month. It has been closed since the death of the previous bar owner, Hank Stevens, in the summer, a family friend said.
A tenant of Jenkins was troubled by the open bar door, saying it was out of character for her.
Alice Murray, manager of Big Jim's Barbershop, which is next door to the bar, said she and Jenkins often talked about the need to be safe. Jenkins usually locked the door behind her when she went into the bar, Murray said.
Michele Millard, a friend of Jenkins, said she believes Jenkins planned to work in the bar and pick up rent checks on Sunday.
Millard said Jenkins was known for getting her hands dirty doing maintenance and renovation work on her properties.
Kent Jenkins said he last talked to his sister Sunday morning. She told him she had to see a tenant about a plumbing problem. Later in the day, he said, the two of them would probably watch football.
Kent Jenkins said his sister seemed fine and gave no indication that anything was wrong.
He said his sister has never been married and hadn't dated anyone in more than a year as far as he knew.
Along with numerous family members, friends and colleagues at Creighton University helped with the distribution of fliers.
Karen and her sister Cynthia Jenkins are both Creighton graduates, and Cynthia does consulting work for the university.
The volunteers broke off into groups of four and went door to door. With Kent Jenkins were Pascal Rubango, Chris Oddo and his sister Sarah Robinson.
They walked up and down the five blocks west of 40th Street and Ames Avenue. They stopped everyone they saw, searched alleys and occasionally looked inside open garages. They made special note of abandoned houses.
People were receptive to volunteers, many offering up prayers and well wishes for her safe return.
Murray said they'd share the information with police and go back out again Friday.
Lt. Trevor O'Brien, head of the police department's child victims/sexual assault unit, was at the scene to thank the volunteers and go over any information they had.
O'Brien said the canvassing efforts turned up “several different directions to follow up on.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 402-444-5838.