June 22 was the last time anyone reportedly saw Wisconsin mother Shannah Boiteau.
It was on that day that the young mother, originally from Chippewa Falls, was driving with her boyfriend along Highway 94 outside St. Cloud, Minnesota. Shannah was stressed; family members say perhaps that’s what led to a disagreement with her boyfriend.
The couple passed a police vehicle and Shannah fled the car. She was barefoot and without her purse when she vanished into the thick woods that run parallel to the highway. Authorities reportedly witnessed her looking distressed as she made her way into the trees. What happened to her next is unknown.
“She could really be anywhere and that’s the scary part,” Cleatus “Bud” Boiteau, Shannah’s father, told Dateline. “The really sad thing is she was really getting back to being Shannah before this all happened.”
The young mother has had her fair share of demons in the past, but her father says she had worked diligently the past couple of years to overcome them. An arrest on drug charges placed the 23-year-old on probation in December of 2014. Then, when she became pregnant, she decided to straighten out her life. The process wasn’t easy, and there were bumps along the way.
Things were going well lately though; at least they appeared to be to her father.
But when Shannah got in trouble for drinking earlier in June, breaking the terms of her probation, something snapped. When she didn’t pick up her daughter from the girl’s father’s house, her father received a call. He asked a family member to check Shannah’s house, as she worked the night shift and she could have slept past an alarm.
Instead of finding Shannah, a note was discovered taped to the kitchen cabinet. “It said basically that she thought she would be going to jail for breaking the terms of her parole and there were a few things she needed to take care of before that happened," Shannah's father Bud told Dateline. “She wrote she loved her daughter and just had to finish some things. We were so mad she took off.”
Then the call came from her then-boyfriend, saying Shannah had disappeared into the woods after their argument. The police were called and officers searched the brush near the spot Shannah reportedly was seen by witnesses, but nothing was found.
A cadaver dog was brought in the following day, but nothing was found. Shannah’s boyfriend said the two were trying to head to California so Shannah could see the ocean. Family members now worry perhaps Shannah was trying to continue that plan on her own by catching a ride with someone.
“It’s the scary ones that pick up hitch-hikers. That is terrifying to think about,” Bud says. “Either way, it could have been someone who doesn’t know she’s missing and hasn’t realized it.”
Both the St. Cloud Police Department and the Chippewa Falls Police Department are investigating. Police say they do not suspect foul play at this time, but are urging anyone who may have seen Shannah to phone authorities.
Shannah’s baby girl is in the custody of her father and her stepmother. While the circumstances of the case are troubling them for a variety of reasons, they simply want to know Shannah is OK.
“We just want her to remember we love her and will do everything we can do to help her,” Shannah’s father Bud told Dateline. “You can come home -- no matter what.”
Shannah Boiteau is described as 5’7” tall, weighing 135 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding her whereabouts is urged to call the Chippewa Falls Police Department at (715) 723-4424 or the St. Cloud Police Department at (320) 251-1200.