St. Louis police search for missing 23-year-old ballerina whose car was found abandoned on boat ramp
23-year-old Rafaella Stroik has been missing since Monday, November 12, with police still having little clue about her whereabouts.
Police in St. Louis, Missouri, are desperately searching for a missing 23-year-old ballerina whose car was found abandoned on a boat ramp in rural Monroe County. The Missouri State Highway Patrol requested the assistance of the public to track down Rafaella Maria Stroik, who was last seen around 10:30 am on Monday, November 12 at a Whole Foods Market at 1160 Town and Country Crossing Drive, Town and Country.
According to Fox2, Stroik's vehicle was found unattended by a park ranger at the Mark Twain Lake State Park, which is more than two hours away from her last seen location. The ranger did not find a missing person report for Stroik, so no further action was taken at the time.
However, at 8:50 am the next day, a state trooper came across Stroik's car, which was still in the parking lot. On cursory inspection, he found that the vehicle was locked and that all her personal belongings, including her cell phone, were still inside.
Sgt Eric Brown with the Missouri State High Patrol said the last Stroik was seen, she appeared to have alone. He also said that the keys were found lying outside the vehicle and that they seemed to have been "intentionally placed in a certain spot on the vehicle." A missing person report was subsequently filed after consultation with the 23-year-old's family.
Fox2 reported that officers from agencies including 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. It was called off after it became too dark.
"The biggest challenge is that 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."
The 23-year-old is originally from South Bend, Indiana and is a professional ballerina with the Saint Louis Ballet. She had only joined the company last year after training with the American Contemporary Ballet and Indiana University Ballet Theater.
Stroik has been described as 5'7'' tall and weighing 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. According to surveillance footage, she was last seen wearing an olive-green jacket, long pink scarf, navy colored pants with white zippers on the sides, and white tennis shoes. Anyone with information pertaining to her location can contact either 911 or the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 660-385-2132.