Weather Forecast


Search on for missing Cottage Grove native

Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan talks to Ed Jelinek of Cottage Grove, Minn., (left) and others about the search for 27-year-old Danielle Jelinek.

CHISAGO LAKE TOWNSHIP, Minn. -- The Cottage Grove, Minn., parents of a missing 27-year-old woman asked the public to help in the search for their daughter.

The parents of Danielle Jelinek talked with reporters Wednesday afternoon in rural Chisago County northwest of the Twin Cities as roughly 100 volunteers searched snow-covered roadside ditches and open fields for any sign of Jelinek, missing since early Sunday.

Ed Jelinek said it is out of character for his daughter to go several days without being in contact with family.

"Never like her, not to call her mother," he said.

The search for the Park High School graduate focused on a few-mile stretch of a two-lane road in Chisago Lake Township near a home where authorities were told Jelinek was last seen.

The house belongs to Aaron Schnagl, an acquaintance who authorities said was with Jelinek late Saturday night and early Sunday morning at Minneapolis bars before returning to his Chisago County home.

Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan said authorities were called to Schnagl's home Sunday afternoon to check on Jelinek's welfare after her sister, with whom she was living in Oakdale, could not reach her.

"There is no evidence of foul play," Duncan said Wednesday. But, he noted, foul play had not been ruled out.

Jelinek's car and some personal possessions including her shoes, cell phone and purse were found at the home. Schnagl told authorities Jelinek left early Sunday, after 4 a.m., but he has not cooperated with the search, Duncan said.

Schnagl was arrested after authorities searching the home for Jelinek found marijuana, Duncan said. Schnagl was being held in jail on a fifth-degree drug charge and a probation violation, but Duncan said Wednesday Schnagl was not a suspect in Jelinek's disappearance.

Authorities from multiple agencies were investigating the case. The ground search was hampered by more than 18 inches of snow that fell Sunday and Monday. Friends, relatives and others made walked through knee-deep snow, poking poles and hockey sticks through the snow to look for any sign of Jelinek.

Duncan said searches for missing adults can be difficult.

"Adults can leave and not want to be found," he said.

Authorities stopped the ground search at dusk Wednesday and planned to review the case Wednesday night before deciding how to proceed Thursday.