Family and friends of Danielle Jelinek, including parents Ed and Jan Jelinek, left, issued a plea for help to find the missing woman. Searchers combed an area near a lake in Chisago Lake Township on Wednesday. Jelinek lived in Oakdale with her sister, Cory Jelinek, right.

Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

Authorities are searching for Danielle Jelinek, 27, of Oakdale, who went missing on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Family handout,

300 search for Oakdale woman; friend faces drug counts

  • Article by: JIM ANDERSON
  • Star Tribune
  • December 13, 2012 - 11:04 PM

About 300 volunteers gathered Thursday to search for Danielle Jelinek, the 27-year-old Oakdale woman reported missing on Sunday after she vanished from a home in Chisago Lake Township. Those efforts will resume Friday.

Searchers were told by Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan that the last person known to have seen her, Aaron J. Schnagl, 28, is now considered a person of interest in the investigation. At an earlier news conference, Duncan had been careful not to call Schnagl a suspect, noting no evidence has turned up showing that a crime has been committed in Jelinek's disappearance.

Schnagl, however, has been uncooperative with investigators. "The problem is, we know what type a guy he is -- we found drugs in the house, her cellphone, her purse," Duncan said. "Some things just don't add up."

The search Thursday focused around Schnagl's residence in the 11200 block of 261st Street. "There's a whole lot of nothing out there," said Lynn Bury, Jelinek's aunt. Bury's daughter created a Facebook page, Danielle Mary Jelinek Search Team, devoted to coordinating search efforts and other information, and the Chisago County Sheriff's Office also plans to create a similar page.

Searchers will gather at 9 a.m. Friday at the Chisago City Community Center, 10825 Lake Blvd.

Schnagl, meanwhile, has been charged in Chisago County District Court with two drug counts and was transferred to Anoka County on a warrant for a probation violation.

Family members described Schnagl and Jelinek as friends who have had a past romantic relationship.

Duncan said the pair had spent Saturday in Minneapolis before returning to his house about 4 p.m. When family members had not heard from Jelinek, they asked deputies to check on her welfare on Sunday afternoon, and she was then reported missing.

According to the complaint against Schnagl in the drug case, officers seized two boxes of marijuana in a car in the garage, totaling 12 pounds in weight. Schnagl was sentenced to 30 years of probation in a 2007 drug case in Anoka County. Duncan said the discovery of marijuana on the property, and in his system, violated those probation terms.

Police also found Jelinek's personal items during the search, including her purse, cellphone, car keys, shoes and an inhaler she uses daily to treat her asthma. That discovery led to the search effort.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Chisago County Sheriff's Office at 651-257-4100.

Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @StribJAnderson

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