About 50 people held signs and candles last Saturday afternoon at WKFL Park at a vigil for missing Homer woman Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, 38.
Murnane has been missing since Oct. 17 after she was last seen leaving her Main Street apartment.
“One of the things we can do is hold out hope,” said Lisa Talbott, pastor of Homer United Methodist Church, in a prayer for Murnane.
Talbott asked people to speak their expressions of hope for Murnane.
“I hope she’s comfortable, that she’s safe,” one person said.
“That’s she home by Thanksgiving,” said another.
“Maybe hope for relief of our fear that this could happen in our town,” Talbott said. “Thank you all for the hope you hold out for Duffy and the love for family and friends.”
Organizer Shelby Sinn held a sign that said “We (heart) Duffy.” Others held signs that said “Duffy Plz Come Back,” “Help Duffy Home” and “Bring Duffy Home.”
Sinn said she doesn’t know Murnane, but she was born and raised in Homer and has sympathy for Murnane’s loved ones.
“If it were my family, I would want as much support as possible,” she said.
Others who didn’t know Murnane had similar thoughts.
“I don’t know Duffy, but she’s on my mind constantly,” said Martha Roderick.
On Sunday, friends and family did another canvass for Murnane, going through neighborhoods, knocking on doors and passing out fliers. Since she went missing, a group of volunteers has been not only spreading the word, but contacting people in the hope that someone will remember seeing her around when she went missing.
“The more we can hold this light for her, the greater the chances of bringing her home,” said Murnane’s childhood friend, Tela Bacher, at the vigil.
Homer Police Lt. Ryan Browning said there is no new information in the case.
“We’re chasing leads that come in and following on the tips,” he said on Tuesday.
Murnane’s family has added a $10,000 reward offered through Crimestoppers for any information leading to her return. Anonymous tips can be given to Crimestoppers by calling 907-283-8477. Information on the case is at the Peninsula Crime Stoppers page at www.peninsulacrimestoppers.com.
Murnane’s family has a Facebook page, Bring Duffy Home, and a Go Fund Me account to raise money to assist the search.
She disappeared on Oct. 17 after leaving her Main Street apartment for an appointment at the SVT Health & Wellness clinic on East End Road. The last confirmed sighting is a security camera photo showing her leaving the Maintree Apartments, a supported housing complex, about 12:15 p.m. Murnane had a 1 p.m. appointment at SVT Health and Wellness Center, about a 1-mile walk from her home. She did not show up for that appointment.
Homer Police and Alaska State Troopers issued a Silver Alert six 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.
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 pink-and-black plaid purse with a shoulder strap and carried her wallet, cellphone and identification. Police said she does not drive or own a vehicle and got around by walking.
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.”
Murnane’s family say they believe someone picked her up in a vehicle and that she has been abducted.
Police feel confident they have ruled out Murnane disappearing in the downtown area near her home and getting lost because of illness or injury. Police haven’t found anything to suggest Murnane had suicidal or depressive thoughts or that she talked about disappearing.