Reporting Jamie Yuccas
CHISAGO, Minn. (WCCO) — More than 300 volunteers are desperately hoping to find a woman who’s been missing for five days.
Sheriff’s deputies found 27-year-old Danielle Jelinek’s car, purse, cell phone and shoes at the house of a man she used to date. He lives in Chisago Lake Township.
Authorities said her family called police to request a welfare check on her behalf at a residence near the area of Lofton Avenue and 261st Street. The residence was that of Aaron Schnagl, who was not cooperative with police.
Rick Duncan, Chisago County Sheriff, said Schnagl is a person of interest in this case.
Jelinek was not located at the residence, but authorities obtained a search warrant for the property and found her items inside. Schnagl was arrested on drug charges (marijuana was found) but police previously said he wasn’t their primary suspect. Duncan said Thursday afternoon that Schnagl is now part of the investigation.
Thursday’s search was broken off into four groups, searching 5 miles and ran from 1 to 4 p.m. The search will resume on Friday at 9 a.m. Volunteers should meet again at the Chisago City Community center at 8:30 a.m.
Jelinek was last seen on Saturday in Chisago City, a town north and east of Forest Lake in the north Twin Cities metro. The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating a ground search near her home, which started Wednesday and continues Thursday afternoon.
“We’re still hopeful Danielle will be found alive and well, but the farther we go in this investigation, we have to prepare that that might not be the case,” Duncan said.
Danielle’s father, Ed, was surprised by the number of those volunteering.
“It’s because she’s such a lovable person,” he said. “The sheriff and all them are just fabulous. They’re leaving no stone unturned.”
He added that he also views Danielle’s previous boyfriend as a person of interest.
Anyone with information on where she might be is asked to call the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office at (651) 257-4100.