Dogs aid police in search for Homer woman

Anesha “Duffy” Murnane missing poster. (Homer Police photo)

Anesha Murnane is still missing. Murnane, who answers to Duffy, was last seen in downtown Homer in front of Homer’s Jeans on Pioneer Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 17. Homer Police, Alaska State Troopers and volunteers searched on the ground and by air through the weekend.

Rescue dogs arrived from Anchorage on Sunday night to aid the effort to find Duffy. The dogs and their handlers continue to search in town today. Marvin Dean Cox came from Anchorage to act as incident commander for the dog teams. He says there are five searchers and two dogs on the job . “We are a private non-profit. I’m with the Anchorage Search Team. The dogs are here with North Paw K9 Search and Recovery. It’s a private group with trained dogs, some of the best trained dogs in the state,” said Cox.

KBBI’s  Kathleen Gustafson spoke with Lieutenant Ryan Browning of the Homer Police Department this morning for this update.


What can you say about Duffy’s disappearance?

Lt. Browning:
Our last confirmed sighting of her was Thursday between 5:15, 5:30. Outside of Homer’s Jeans heading eastbound. Right now, we’ve got officers in the field going all the businesses to see if they have any cameras that we can get any footage off of anything like that the track dogs last night.

They deployed one dog. It found her track where it went to, down towards Kachemak Drive. We can say definitively that she was there. We searched those, no sign of, or any clues like that. Another dog ran the same trail so we know she was in that area and then the dogs weren’t able to find where she would have gone off of that trail.

We’re sending them or they should be going to where she was last seen that Thursday evening in front of Homer jeans and trying to get a track from there. If we can’t get anything from that, they’re going to start jumping intersections with the dogs to see if they can pick anything up.

 Sounds like a maybe a month or so ago, these dogs tracked a guy for six days through Anchorage. So they have a pretty high success rate with that but they’re going to start dropping dogs in town and can see if they can get anything. Right now I’m trying to get hold of the FBI to go through electronic stuff and just asking people if they see her to give us a call or if they hear anything or rumors to let us know at the police department.

 You’re no longer calling volunteers for search?

Lt. Browning:
 Right, we’ve combed within about a mile, mile and a half of where she lived very thoroughly with the dogs, with a helicopter, with probably 50 people that came out yesterday in the community to help us out and we’re confident that she’s not in that area immediately around her house.

So now we’re starting to expand things outside of that and I think we’re going to get our best information from what the dogs do their work and see what they come up with.

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