The clearing of ice has intensified search efforts – and hopes – in the cases of Kira Trevino and Danielle Jelinek.
Searches for two east metro women who vanished last winter under suspicious circumstances in separate cases are continuing, with both efforts gaining new urgency focusing on bodies of water as the ice clears.
Authorities returned Tuesday to Keller Lake in Maplewood to search for Kira Trevino, last seen alive Feb. 21. Meanwhile, volunteers made plans to greet anglers at public landings on lakes in Chisago County during the walleye fishing opener, asking for their help to find Danielle Jelinek, reported missing by her family Dec. 9.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office water patrol had a boat on the water for about three hours in the latest search for Trevino, said spokesman Randy Gustafson. Crews used sonar gear to search Keller Lake and Spoon Lake, which lies north of Hwy. 36.
“It’s the first chance that we’ve had since the ice-out,” Gustafson said.
Trevino, 30, of St. Paul is presumed dead; her husband, Jeffery Trevino, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in her disappearance.
Authorities decided to venture back out on the lake to make sure they hadn’t missed something since they had spent so much time searching it earlier this year, Gustafson said.
Previous civilian searches had turned up some evidence near the lake, including a plastic bag with a pillow inside that had blood matching Kira Trevino’s DNA, according to charges. Earlier this year, rescue dogs indicated a scent in a hole in frozen Keller Lake, but a search by divers did not find anything.
Authorities also searched the Mississippi River last week following up on a lead, but recovered no evidence. Community searches are planned for this weekend. Visit www.facebook.com/HelpFindKiraStegerTrevino for more information.
Anguished relatives and friends of Jelinek have even fewer clues to go on as they prepare to renew searches halted by ice and snow. Jelinek, 28, of Oakdale was last seen in Chisago Lake Township with Aaron Schnagl, described by family members as an infrequent friend.
Schnagl, who had a history of physically abusing Jelinek, has denied involvement in her disappearance. He was convicted of unrelated drug charges resulting from the search of his home, and is in St. Cloud prison.
Volunteers plan to be stationed at Big Green, Little Green, Moody, Chisago and Bone lakes, handing out fliers to those arriving for the walleye fishing opener May 11, said Lynn Bury, Jelinek’s aunt. The fliers will ask anglers to be aware of any clues, and to report anything unusual to the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office. Information will be posted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DanielleMaryJelinekSearchTeam.
Lamar Advertising Co. of Duluth also is pitching in by donating a billboard to be put up along Interstate 35 near Stacy, Minn., with a photo of Jelinek and highlighting the $25,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.
“It’s very compelling when you talk to the people who have been involved with this, I can tell you that,” said Matt Harrold, general manager of the company’s Duluth office.
Anyone with information about Jelinek’s disappearance should call the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office at 651-257-4100.
Nicole Norfleet • 651-925-5032 Jim Anderson • 651-925-5038