Aaron Schnagl named 'person of interest' in missing woman case - KMSP-TV

Jailed friend named 'person of interest' in Danielle Jelinek disappearance

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Danielle Jelinek can be seen in the center Danielle Jelinek can be seen in the center

The Chisago County Sheriff's Office is now describing Aaron Schnagl, the friend of a missing woman who was last seen at his home, as a person of interest in the investigation.

Until Thursday, investigators said there was no reason to suspect a connection between Schnagl and 27-year-old Danielle Jelinek's disappearance.

Deputies say Schnagl admitted to being the last person to see Jelinek early Sunday morning, and many of her personal items -- including her car, phone, purse and shoes -- were found at his home. He said she left on foot in the early hours.

On Wednesday, investigators said Schnagl had not been cooperating with the investigation.

FOX 9 News obtained six search warrants made public Thursday that state Schnagl told investigators he and Jelinek went shopping together in Minneapolis on Saturday before going back to his house for drinks and sex before going to sleep at about 2:30 a.m.

When police arrived at Schnagl's home to perform a welfare check, they found his Tahoe in a nearby ditch nextdoor to his house. He said that was because he had gone to look for Jelinek an hour before they arrived.

The warrants also show that investigators located 12 pounds of marijuana in his home while searching for clues in the missing person case.

A witness listed in the warrant told police Schnagl's Good Guys Auto Group business was not doing well, and he dealt drugs to help make ends meet. A family member at the shop claimed Schnagl is innocent, explaining he and Jelinek were rekindling a previous relationship.

Investigators say Jelinek's sister provided information and pictures showing previous abuse by Schnagl, but investigators say they have no signs he was violent on Saturday.

The warrants detail how traces of blood were found inside Schnagl's Chevy Tahoe and inside his house; however, investigators say it is not consistent with a struggle and was only a small amount.

Schnagl has since been transferred from the Chisago County Jail to the Anoka County Jail on an arrest warrant from a probation violation.

Schnagl is described as an on-again, off-again friend, and family members who spoke with FOX 9 News declined to go into additional detail.

Within the past 24 hours, Schnagl directed investigators toward a mound in his yard. Though they flooded the property and drained a septic tank, there is still no sign of Jelinek.

Investigators admit there are many theories and rumors detailed in the search warrants and they are still looking into them. Meanwhile, tips from the public are still coming in, and they encourage people to keep them coming.

On Thursday, roughly 300 volunteers joined a search for Jelinek near Schnagl's home, more than doubling the size of the previous day's search.

The search will resume on Friday, and volunteers are asked to meet at the Chisago City Community Center at about 8:30 a.m. for a search that will begin at 9 a.m.

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