Homer woman still missing after 4 months

Feb 17, 2020

Anesha "Duffy" Murnane is shown in the jacket she was wearing when she disappeared from Homer on Oct. 17.
Credit Murnane family

Community members gathered at the Islands and Ocean Visitors Center last week for a community conversation with the Homer Police Department around the case of missing Homer woman Anesha “Duffy” Murnane. Missing since Oct. 17, Duffy’s friends and family facilitated the conversation.

With a photo of Duffy projected on the auditorium screen, longtime friend Tela O’Donnell Bacher and stepfather Ed Berg shared a bit about who Duffy is and addressed questions, like, “Is it possible that she just left Homer without telling anyone?” To which Berg replied, “absolutely not.”

“People ask could she have just taken off. I say to them, ‘Could I just leave Homer? Or, could you just leave Homer?’ It’s hard to conceive of just doing it. The logistics of pulling something like that off and not leaving a track. It would take a phenomenal amount of preparation. She didn’t just go off on a lark,” Berg said.

Lt. Ryan Browning of the Homer Police Department says Duffy’s case remains a priority. He spoke about ongoing law enforcement efforts, which have included the FBI and Alaska State Troopers. Browning says that despite the hundreds of tips that have come in from community members, there have been no leads.

“That’s what we’re doing. Every day. Bringing in other agencies, other investigators, other people who have done this a lot. Collaborating with them and seeing what are we missing, what do we need to do, where do we go from here. Getting other agencies involved is what we’re doing and that’s the best I can answer for you,” Browning said.

Attendants asked if it seems likely that someone she knew abducted her. Browning says that possibility has not been ruled out.
In response to questions, Browning confirmed that the Homer Police Department is investigating local registered sex offenders and individuals living in the same building as Duffy. One attendee asked Browning what community members are doing that is helpful.

“The willingness for people to come out and crawl through the woods, to get dirty and search, to help the family with meal trains and keeping Duffy alive in the case, statewide and nationwide,” Browning said. “For us law enforcement, the phone calls, the tips, even if it seems like it might not be something, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call. The more information we have, the better.”

Browning said the only negative is that community members are sharing information on the Bring Duffy Home Facebook page, instead of calling the police.

“Get off of there and call us,” he said. “That would be the only thing, having gone through this, that I would like to see more of is that direct contact with us. There are channels that people can go through if they want to remain anonymous, through Crime Stoppers. Or if someone doesn’t want to give me their name, that’s OK. I still want the information.”

Duffy is 38 years old, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, has brown hair, blue eyes and weighed 170 at the time of her disappearance. She was last seen wearing a light blue coat and carrying a purple and gray plaid purse. Anyone with tips, suggestions or questions relating to Duffy’s disappearance is encouraged to contact the Homer Police Department directly at 235-3150.