Dive teams search area lakes for missing woman

Danielle Jelinek
Danielle Jelinek

Authorities are turning to area lakes in the continued search for Danielle Jelinek, who was last seen Dec. 8 at a residence in southern Chisago County.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office dive team searched for the 27-year-old Oakdale woman while conducting a training exercise Dec. 31 on Bone Lake in northern Washington County. No trace of Jelinek was found, according to the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office.

A similar effort is planned this Sunday on nearby Moody Lake, the sheriff’s office added.

Both lakes, located south of Chisago City, between Scandia and Forest Lake, are in close proximity to Jelinek’s last known whereabouts — that is, the Chisago Lake Township home belonging to 28-year-old Aaron Jude Schnagl, who remains a person of interest in the case.

The diving exercises come after a number of authority-led ground searches that generated hundreds of volunteers who combed the snow-filled landscape in all directions surrounding the residence in the 11200 block of 261st Street, just off Lofton Avenue.

The sheriff’s office initially got involved Dec. 9 when family of Jelinek requested a welfare check at Schnagl’s home. Uncooperative during the check, he was later arrested for 5th degree drug possession when authorities returned with a search warrant.

During the search, officers found bags containing about 12 pounds of marijuana and items including Jelinek’s purse, shoes and cell phone. Also discovered was her car, which was parked outside the residence.

Schnagl was eventually jailed in Anoka County, as his possession arrest violated an existing probation order.

The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office continues to follow up on all leads and tips in this case. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Danielle Mary Jelinek is urged to contact the sheriff’s office at 651-257-4100.

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