Update: (November 14, 1:00 p.m. EST): Raffaella Maria Stroik, who had been missing for two days, was tragically found dead in the water near 107 boat ramp at Mark Twain State Park. At the time of this writing, police have yet to confirm Stroik’s cause of death.
Missouri State Highway Patrol has asked for the public’s help in finding Raffaella Maria Stroik, a missing 23-year-old from St. Louis.
According to police, Stroik was last seen at Whole Foods Market in Town and Country on the morning of Monday, November 12, however, her vehicle was located two hours away in rural Monroe County.
Police say that a park ranger found Stroik’s car unattended in a boat ramp parking lot at Mark Twain Lake State Park — approximately two hours from where she was last seen — around 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, November 13.
Police say that when Stroik’s car was found, it was locked and her personal belongings — including a cell phone — were found inside.
At the time Stroik’s vehicle was found, the responding ranger did not find a missing person report for Stroik, so no further action was taken.
“Her keys were found laying outside the vehicle. They appeared to have been intentionally placed in a certain spot on the vehicle,” said Country. Sgt. Eric Brown.
Law enforcement contacted Stroik’s family. It was determined she was missing and a report was filed.
Representatives from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Department of Conservation, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe City Fire Department, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Monroe City Ambulance District conducted a ground search of the area Tuesday. A helicopter flew over the area, and crews searched the water as well.
The search was called off when it became too dark. They plan to begin searching again Wednesday around 9 a.m.
“The biggest challenge is going to be it is a very secluded area,” said Brown. “Lots of timber, lots of wooded areas, mixed in with some grasslands as well. Not a lot of homes in the area to where we could have potential witnesses.”
Stroik is described as a 23-year-old white female who is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 115 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes. She normally wears her hair in a ponytail or a braid.
Police have asked anyone with information about Stroik or her whereabouts to call 911 or the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 660-385-2132.