As the search continues for missing Homer woman Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, 38, her family and friends have asked people to put up blue lights to remind the town that she remains missing.
“Since blue is Duffy’s color, people might want to put blue lights on their home, so when they think of blue lights, they think of Duffy,” said Kate Finn, a family friend.
Murnane has been missing since Oct. 17 after she was last seen in a security camera image leaving her Main Street apartment. Murnane’s mother is Sara Berg and her step-father is Ed Berg. Murnane’s family believe she has been abducted.
In a Jan. 14 interview, Sara Berg said the family has focused its efforts on a Facebook page, Bring Duffy Home, to increase awareness and maintain public interest in her daughter’s disappearance. She said she wants to keep people talking about Murnane in hopes people will share information that might lead to her recovery.
“The only way to get tips is to have people talking,” Sara Berg said. “They’re going to talk about Duffy. … Somebody is going to say something.”
Sara Berg also has been sharing stories about Murnane on the Bring Duffy Home page, such as a story about her birth at home. The public group now has almost 1,300 members.
“It really comforts me to read the nice comments, and it comforts me to know I have access to talk to a lot of people,” she said.
Although Homer Police have made the search for Murnane a priority and continue their investigation, there have been no new leads in the case. The FBI and Alaska State Troopers also have been assisting.
Sara Berg said public awareness like the Facebook page and the blue lights campaign are part of their effort to keep the search going.
“We just have to keep it out there,” she said. “We just have to. That’s all we’ve got.”
Murnane’s family has put up 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 also has 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. that day. 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 on Oct. 19 for Murnane after she was reported missing that day. 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, cell phone 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 followed strong scents to Pioneer Avenue area near Cosmic Kitchen, in front of Homer’s Jeans and the Kachemak Bay Campus. There the dogs 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.