A body found in Rice County leads police to ask if it could be missing student Anarae Schunk.
The parents of Anarae Schunk, the 20-year-old University of Minnesota student missing for more than a week, provided their daughter’s dental records to Rosemount Police after a body was discovered Monday in a roadside ditch near Lonsdale.
Tyson Schunk, Anarae’s brother, said police requested the dental records about 9 p.m. Monday so the medical examiner can “rule it out or quickly identify” whether the body is his sister. Police gave the family no indication as to the possibility that it’s her, Tyson said.
“I know there have been other bodies that have been found but they haven’t asked us this so it makes it a high interest to us,” he said.
Burnsville police said Tuesday morning that authorities would make an announcement about the case later in the day.
Tyson Schunk said the body was found on 60th Street West, about 30 minutes from where his sister last was seen.
Tyson Schunk said late Monday night that the family is still “hoping for the best” and that Anarae will be found alive. “What I want is for her to be here and alive. But if it’s her body, we would rather find her and have closure.”
Schunk has been missing since early Sept. 22 when she apparently left Nina’s Grill in Burnsville with her ex-boyfriend, Shavelle Chavez-Nelson, and Chavez-Nelson’s current girlfriend, Ashley Conrade, 24, of Rosemount. Chavez-Nelson is accused of fatally shooting a man outside the bar shortly before 2 a.m.
Earlier on Monday, Schunk’s family continued their frantic search Monday for answers and evidence in Anarae’s disappearance, and they said police asked them to have volunteers search several areas in particular for her body or any evidence in the case.
The “highest potential” place was identified as an area in Apple Valley bordered on the north by W. 140th Street, on the south by W. 150th Street, on the west by Flagstaff Avenue and on the east by Johnny Cake Ridge Road. Another high-potential area is Lebanon Hills Park in Eagan, the family said.
Burnsville police told the family they have already searched those areas as well as the rock quarry at County Road 46 and Shannon Parkway in Rosemount and from Pickerel Lake to Harriet Island along the Mississippi River in the Lilydale area. But a second look at all those areas is warranted if enough volunteers can be recruited, the family said.
Volunteers searched again Monday in Lilydale Regional Park and UMore Park near Rosemount, and a group was organizing itself on the “Please Help Find Anarae Schunk” Facebook page to search the Apple Valley area in the evening. The area is long and narrow and includes cornfields, an industrial area, a small holding pond, a sand pit and a school.
Tyson Schunk said the family will be meeting with Steve Matula, whose sister Mandy disappeared in early May, on Monday evening to figure out how to organize search parties.
“We are in the process of identifying the locations in conjunction with law enforcement,” a Facebook posting said. The family will sign up volunteers to date and time slots.
The family said Sunday that police told them that Anarae’s white jacket was found at an apartment in St. Paul and a knife was found on the roof of the apartment building. The jacket was covered in blood and had 18 to 20 puncture holes that police believe could indicate stab wounds.
Chavez-Nelson, 31, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder in the death of Palagor Obang Jobi, 23, of Savage. Conrade is charged with aiding an offender for allegedly harboring Chavez-Nelson until his arrest.
Staff Writer Mary Lynn Smith contributed to this report. Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284