Stiles Still Missing But Searchers Not Giving Up

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

From the marsh to the trees and everything in between, volunteers combed through the woods Sunday morning looking for answers.

"Any sign of life. Any sign of death. Any sign of anything," said friend and neighbor Kelly Campbell.

Michigan State Police joined friends and family at Wolf Lake County Park searching for 34-year-old Tonia Stiles, last seen November 18. As you can imagine, this was no walk in the park.

"Nobody wants to go look for a friend in the woods," said Campbell, fighting back tears. "Nobody wants to think about it all the time and walk out into the woods and wonder, 'am I going to be the one to find a body?'"

Last Friday volunteers did stumble upon a bloody shirt, but it'll be nine months before the crime lab can analyze it. Lt. Jim Shaw says in the meantime investigators are trying to track Stiles, but she hasn't left many footprints.

"A lot of the things we utilize to help find missing persons whether it's a cell phone, whether it's a vehicle," he said, "things like that she just did not have."

Not to mention, her boyfriend, Scott Cassidy, the last person, police say, to see Stiles and the one who reported her missing killed himself in jail Friday. He was arrested last week on an unrelated charge. Police say each day they don't hear from Stiles is another reason to worry.

"As the days go by, as family has not heard from her, though we still explore all possibilities, we are looking more into the fact that her disppearance may be involuntary," Shaw said.

"This isn't Tonia," Campbell said. "Something terribly wrong has happened."

And until they find out what, she says, they won't give up.


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