Nearly a week after she disappeared, police continued their search Friday for missing University of Minnesota student Anarae Schunk without any new clues.
Her family, though, is increasingly anxious to start community searches, preparing for one as soon as this weekend once police allow the public to help.
“They’re [police] doing everything they can as are we doing everything we can,” her brother Owen Schunk said Friday. “We’re optimistically pursuing finding Anarae.”
Burnsville police didn’t release any updates Friday.
But her family remains hopeful that the 20-year-old sociology student is hiding out from her felon ex-boyfriend, who remains in jail on charges of killing another man. They’ve set up a fund to support searches for Schunk and, her brother said, to help her with therapy and to get settled once she returns home.
“We’re planning for the best,” he said.
Donations to the Anarae Schunk Fund will be accepted at any US Bank branch.
The family is posting updates on a possible public search at www.facebook.com/HelpFindAnarae; search volunteers will have to fill out a waiver and register.
Anarae Schunk was last seen at Nina’s Grill in Burnsville last Saturday with her ex-boyfriend, Shavelle Chavez-Nelson, also known as Anthony Lee Nelson. They had broken up almost a year ago but she had reconnected with him to try to get back $5,000 she had loaned him, friends say.
Fleeing murder scene
Police say that just before 2 a.m. Sunday, Nelson, 31, of Eagan, fatally shot Palagor Obang Jobi, 23, of Savage, eight times in the parking lot after they’d gotten in a fight. Nelson was angry that Jobi was talking to his girlfriend, Ashley M. Conrade, 24.
Conrade was charged with one felony count of aiding an offender for allegedly harboring Nelson at her Rosemount townhouse until his arrest Tuesday. Murder charges were filed Thursday against Nelson.
Police said Schunk went with the two to the townhouse, but Nelson and Conrade won’t say where she went after that. Her cellphone was turned off about 9 p.m. Saturday, and there’s been no activity in her bank or credit card accounts.
Nelson isn’t cooperating with police. He was released from prison at the end of 2011 after serving time for first-degree aggravated robbery and was on supervised release until May 25. He’s on probation until 2014 for a misdemeanor conviction for driving with a suspended license and giving false information to police, according to records. He also has convictions for drug sales and possession of a weapon by an ineligible person.
Schunk started dating him while he was on supervised release, but ended it last Thanksgiving when she learned that he was living with a woman — not Conrade — and that he had a child with her.
At Burnsville High School, Schunk played tenor sax in the marching band and excelled at math and chess. She often befriended social outcasts, family members say, and thought she could help Nelson turn his life around.
Her disappearance is the latest in a string of missing young women in the Twin Cities area. Mandy Matula, 24, of Eden Prairie, remains missing, last seen May 1 with her ex-boyfriend, who later fatally shot himself. Kira Steger, 30, of St. Paul, disappeared Feb. 21 and her husband, Jeffery Trevino, is on trial for murder in her death. And Danielle Jelinek, 27, of Oakdale, went missing in December; her body was found in a pond in Chisago County.