Over the weekend approximately 50 community members joined local efforts to “Bring Duffy Home”, a campaign to locate Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, a 38-year old Homer woman who has been missing for several weeks.
Duffy left her apartment in downtown Homer October 17, walking to a doctor’s appointment just a few blocks away. She never made it. Police dogs followed her scent to an area downtown where the trail ended abruptly, leading local law enforcement to believe that a vehicle picked her up. Since then, numerous community members have assisted Murnane’s parents, Sara and Ed Berg, in their search efforts.
Volunteers took off in groups of two to four with flyers in hand and in vehicles to canvas pre-designated areas that spanned from Mile 18 to Bear Creek Drive. Two groups also drove 4-wheelers along a section of beach between Kilcher Road out to the head of the bay and on the west side of Fritz Creek.
Tela Bacher grew up in Homer, is a friend of the family and a childhood friend of Murnane. She has been involved in the search since the beginning and coordinated this weekend’s canvas.
“Most of what we’re going to do is break up into groups,” Bacher said. “We’ll be in groups of at least two, three, four depending on people’s comfort level. We’re going to go knocking on doors. We’re going to keep our eyes open to see if there’s anything worth checking out. We’re going to share information about Duffy. We’re going to ask people if they’ve noticed anything. We’re going to keep the search efforts and the awareness efforts for Duffy going because that’s the best chance she’s got for getting home, if there’s a little information about her,” she said.
Michelle Melchert is a Homer resident and a former law enforcement officer. She joined the effort because she believes that doing so is what it means to be part of a community.
“It’s close to home and it’s a small community, and it is a community,” Melchert said. “Binding together and going out and searching and doing what we can do door to door, word of mouth. Anything weird or out of the ordinary, report it. It’s not tattling, it’s being part of a community and looking out for one another. It just hits me in the heart.”
Family and friends are also asking everyone to search abandoned buildings on their property, like cabins and shops and empty properties nearby, watch for unusual activity, and report anything suspicious.
Bacher corrected some of the misconceptions and rumors that have spread surrounding Murnane’s disappearance.
“We start noticing that some people are like, ‘Oh, I heard she went across the bay with her boyfriend.’ That’s not the case, there’s no evidence that that happened. She has no boyfriend. If we let that narrative take over, people will put their guard down, they won’t recognize the actual fact that it looks like Duffy was abducted, and it looks like it happened in the middle of town, in Homer, maybe by someone that we see regularly,” she said.
Another canvas is tentatively planned for the weekend of November 16, with details to be posted on the Bring Duffy Home Facebook page.
Information is also available through the email listserv, firstname.lastname@example.org. People can sign up to provide meals for the family at Meal Train. There is a GoFundMe account to offset printing and advertising costs and the Crime Stoppers reward. Flyers for posting are available in Homer at Lazer Print and the Homer Police Station, and will be available around the state at Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centers.