Missing U student feared murder suspect, family and friends say

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 25, 2013 - 11:31 PM

Anarae Schunk, 20, was last seen going into a Burnsville bar where her former boyfriend allegedly shot and killed a man later that night.

Anarae Schunk broke off her relationship with felon Shavelle Chavez-Nelson almost a year ago. But she still feared him, still felt he was “almost watching over her, always kind of knew where she was,” her best friend said Wednesday.

Still, Schunk, a 20-year-old University of Minnesota student, went with Chavez-Nelson on Saturday to Nina’s Grill in Burnsville, where he is accused of killing a man in the parking lot shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday.

Schunk hasn’t been seen since video surveillance recorded her entering the bar with him.

She wanted to try to get back $5,000 she had lent to her former boyfriend while they were romantically involved, said Sarah Chacos, Schunk’s friend since the two met in a 10th-grade algebra class at Burnsville High School.

“I will say the way they were going to get it back was very dangerous for her,” Chacos said. She declined to elaborate on what they were planning to do.

Getting the money back “was a big pride issue for her,” she said. “She felt like he had betrayed her so much, and she felt like Shavelle underestimated her. It’s really complicated.”

Phone, bank records no help

Schunk’s cellphone was turned off at 9:14 p.m. Saturday, her brother Owen said. It can’t be tracked unless it’s on, but the family has learned that in the handful of calls she made or received before it was turned off, one number appeared 33 times, he said.

There has been no activity through her bank or credit card accounts. The family is hoping that Schunk is hiding for fear of Chavez-Nelson or his associates and will eventually be found. Her loved ones have put up fliers at bus stations, bus stops and other places she liked to go.

She didn’t drive and took public transportation from her family’s home in Burnsville to the university until a month ago, when she moved into the University Commons student housing near campus, her brother said. Her most frequent bus stops were at the Mall of America and the transit station between Hwy. 13 and Diffley Road in Eagan. She spent time at the Caribou Coffee at Hwy. 13 and Cliff Road and at the billiards parlor across the street.

Chavez-Nelson, 31, of Eagan, was arrested Tuesday near Shannon Parkway and County Road 46 after he left a residence in Rosemount. He was being held in the Dakota County jail under the name Anthony Lee Nelson. State records from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension show that he has a lengthy criminal record and uses at least 10 names and aliases.

He is expected to be charged Thursday in the shooting death of Palagor Obang Jobi, 23, of Savage.

Burnsville police said Wednesday night they had found a dark-colored, four-door 1983 Buick LeSabre Limited that investigators believe Chavez-Nelson used to flee the homicide scene. They did not say, however, whether the vehicle provided any clues to Schunk’s disappearance.

Chavez-Nelson is not cooperating with authorities about the homicide or Schunk’s disappearance.

“The suspect is not talking [about] anything,” Burnsville police Sgt. Rory Bochniak said. “There’s nothing there.”

Fifteen to 20 officers were on foot Wednesday, searching several areas for Schunk. Bochniak would not say where the searches were.

“We don’t want the public showing up, so we’re not going to give those areas out,” he said.

  • related content

  • Anarae Schunk, 20, was last seen with the suspect in a fatal shooting at a Burnsville bar early Sunday. The Please Help Find Anarae Schunk page on Facebook posted this photo of Schunk, which she likely had taken by using a mirror.

  • Sarah Chacos held a sign asking for help in finding her friend Anarae Schunk, who was last seen Saturday night.

  • Anarae K. Schunk

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