Three weeks after she went missing on Oct. 17, Homer Police remain actively searching for Anesha “Duffy” Murnane.
Murnane’s family has started a Facebook page, Bring Duffy Home, and a Go Fund Me account to raise money to assist the search. That money also could go to supplement a reward for tips made through Crimestoppers that lead to Murnane’s return, Murnane’s stepfather, Ed Berg, wrote in an email. The reward could be in excess of $5,000, he wrote.
Berg said volunteers also have been canvassing across the Kenai Peninsula, including the Kalifornsky Beach and Cohoe Loop Road areas, as well as areas closer to Homer.
Murnane, 38, disappeared after leaving her Main Street apartment for an appointment at the SVT Health & Wellness clinic on East End Road.
Berg said volunteers have been knocking on doors and handing out flyers. Most people have been sympathetic and have heard about Murnane missing from posters, newspaper stories and social media, Berg wrote in an email.
“Many had poignant stories to tell of a family member’s disappearance at some point in their own lives,” he wrote. “We are learning that, sadly, disappearance seems to be part of the human condition.”
Homer Police Lt. Ryan Browning said he has been focused on finding Murnane since she was reported missing on Oct. 18.
“We’re looking,” he said on Tuesday. “That’s all I’ve done for three weeks now.”
Despite pursuing numerous leads and checking online accounts and records, police are still no closer to finding Murnane.
“She didn’t do much online or anything like that,” Browning said. “Not much.”
Browning also said police haven’t found any evidence Murnane wanted to disappear.
“Just nothing,” he said. “We keep turning up with nothing.”
Murnane was wearing a blue jacket, light-blue shirt and blue jeans the last time she was seen. She is almost 6 feet tall, weighs about 160 pounds and has shoulder-length brown hair and blue eyes. She carried a purse or bag with a shoulder strap and carried her wallet, cell phone and identification. Police said she does not drive or own a vehicle and got around by walking.
Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers issued a Silver Alert three weeks ago for Murnane. Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call Homer Police at 907-235-3150 or the Silver Alert hotline at 855-SILVR99 or 855-745-8799. A Silver Alert is for an adult considered a vulnerable person.
Anonymous tips can be called to Crimestoppers at 907-283-8477.
The last verified sighting of Murnane on Oct. 17 comes from a security camera image that shows her at 12:13 p.m. Oct. 17 leaving her apartment at Maintree Supportive Housing, the apartment complex on Main Street where she lived. Browning said Murnane probably had been walking to a 1 p.m. appointment at the SVT Health & Wellness clinic, about a 1-mile walk from her home. She never made her appointment, Browning said.
Since Murnane went missing, volunteers and authorities have done local ground searches, searches on local beaches, and searches by helicopter and aerial drones.
The weekend after Murnane went missing, search and rescue dog teams from Anchorage tracked her in the downtown area, picking up scents from Main Street to Lee Drive, Svedlund Street, Pioneer Avenue and Kachemak Way. Search dogs got strong scents in the Kachemak Way to Pioneer Avenue area near Cosmic Kitchen, in front of Homer’s Jeans and the Kachemak Bay Campus. Murnane frequently ate at Cosmic Kitchen.
However, the dogs could no longer follow a scent and acted as if there had been what search dog handlers call a “car pick up.” While police don’t have evidence that Murnane had been picked up in a vehicle, on the basis of that police expanded their search outside the Homer area.
The family suspects she might have been abducted.
“We are looking for places where Duffy could be held captive by one or more persons,” Berg wrote.
That involves checking out buildings in out-of-way places, including seasonally unoccupied cabins in remote areas. Berg asked property owners to check their land for unusual activity “such as people or vehicles that are unfamiliar and don’t belong there.”
Police have been good about checking out reports of suspicious activity, Berg wrote.