Ballet dancer, 23, reported missing; car found abandoned in state park, authorities say

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A 23-year-old dancer for the St. Louis Ballet was reported missing Tuesday, a day after authorities found her car abandoned in Mark Twain Lake State Park.

The vehicle belonging to Raffaella Maria Stroik was discovered Monday by a Missouri state park ranger in the park's boat ramp parking lot, but no missing persons report had yet been filed for the owner, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

After authorities found the car in the same spot the following day, they investigated and found that a missing person report had been filed, the newspaper reported.

"Her keys were found laying outside the vehicle," Sgt. Eric Brown of the Missouri State Highway Patrol told FOX 2 of St. Louis. "They appeared to have been intentionally placed in a certain spot on the vehicle."

"Her keys were found laying outside the vehicle. They appeared to have been intentionally placed in a certain spot on the vehicle."

— Sgt. Eric Brown, Missouri State Highway Patrol

Stroik is originally from South Bend, Ind., and was described as 5-foot-7, weighing 115 pounds, KMOV-TV of St. Louis reported. She has brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen Monday morning at a Whole Foods store in Town and Country, Mo., according to the station.

Her father, Duncan Stroik, told the station he is asking for prayers and the public’s help to “find our darling daughter.”

A search of the area where the car was found took place Tuesday, but was called off when it became too dark, FOX 2 of St. Louis reported.

"The biggest challenge is going to be it is a very secluded area," Brown told FOX 2. "Lots of timber, lots of wooded areas, mixed in with some grasslands as well. Not a lot of homes in the area to where we could have potential witnesses."

Authorities planned to resume searching Mark Twain State Park on Wednesday morning. The Missouri Highway Patrol asked that anyone with information call 660-385-2132.