Police seek public’s help to find missing St. Louis ballerina

Update: Body of missing St. Louis ballerina discovered in Mark Twain Lake

MONROE COUNTY, Mo. – Missouri State Highway Patrol is requesting the public’s help to find a missing St. Louis woman. Raffaella Maria Stroik, 23, was last seen Monday morning (Nov. 12), but her vehicle was located two hours away in rural Monroe County.

Stroik was last seen Monday at the Whole Foods Market in Town and Country. Sgt. Eric Brown with MSHP said she appeared to be alone.

Monday afternoon, a park ranger found Stroik's car unattended in a boat ramp parking lot at Mark Twain Lake State Park. At the time, the ranger did not find a missing person report for Stroik so no further action was taken.

Around 8:50 a.m. Tuesday (Nov. 13), a state trooper saw Stroik's car was still in the parking lot. The car was locked, and her personal belongings, including a cell phone, were found inside the vehicle.

"Her keys were found laying outside the vehicle," said Brown. "They appeared to have been intentionally placed in a certain spot on the vehicle."

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 5’7″ tall, weighing 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She lives in St. Louis but is originally from South Bend, Indiana.

Surveillance video in Town and Country showed Stroik was last seen wearing an olive-green jacket, long pink scarf, navy colored pants with white zippers on the sides, and white tennis shoes.

Stroik is a professional ballerina with the Saint Louis Ballet. A spokesperson with the ballet said they "are very worried about her."

Anyone with information on the location of Stroik should call 911 or the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 660-385-2132.