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Disappearance still a mystery

Family and friends of missing Detroit Lakes woman Melissa “Mitz” Eagleshield celebrated her 43rd birthday without her recently.

Balloons were released from the Veteran’s Memorial Park in remembrance of Eagleshield, who went missing in October.

She was last seen in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 5 at a residence along County Road 126 near Island Lake.

The owner of that residence, a male acquaintance of Eagleshield’s, told police she left his house sometime likely between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., but didn’t know if she left on foot or if somebody picked her up.

Authorities have said in the past that they have no reason to doubt the man.

Eagleshield’s family, however, is left not knowing exactly what to believe. It’s been four and a half months of waiting and wondering.

“The strange thing is the time of the day it happened,” said Linda Anderson, Eagleshield’s mother.

Anderson says her daughter did have substance abuse issues, but doesn’t believe that explains what happened. “She left with nothing… without her shoes or purse, and I think that says something,” said Anderson. “Could she have gotten confused and just walked away? Maybe, but then they would have found her body somewhere around there.”

Although no clues have surfaced to back up the family’s beliefs that it’s more likely Mitz was a victim of foul play, they also know the investigation isn’t over.

Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander says the investigation is still open and active.

“When it gets nicer before the foliage comes, we’re going to do some more flying over that area,” said Glander. “It’s still active, and we’re still hoping that if people have more information, to please call us.”

Glander also reminds people who take to the woods for whatever reason, to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

Meanwhile, with no credit card activity or word of Eagleshield’s whereabouts, Anderson says the family has little reason to hope for a happy ending.

“I think we’re resigned the fact that she won’t be returning home alive, but we still need the time to heal and to make peace of what has happened,” said Anderson. “The kids struggle, the siblings struggle because of not knowing, her grandkids think she is lost in the woods, but they don’t understand that she is gone in the sense that she is. There’s just no closure.”

Anderson says it’s because of this that some family and friends would like to have a memorial service or some sort of acknowledgment of death, but she says because there is still the slight chance Mitz will walk through the door someday, the family isn’t ready to say goodbye.

“It just makes me uncomfortable; I think we need answers before we can have closure,” said Anderson, who says she has complete faith in the Becker County Sheriff’s Office.

“They keep in touch with us, and they’re re-interviewing a lot of people to try to find something they might have missed,” said Anderson. “They say ‘We’re on it until it’s done,’ and I trust them. They’re very intelligent and capable; they know how to do this.”

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