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Published August 27, 2012, 05:55 PM

Missing Thief River Falls Woman Found Dead, Community in Shock

A homicide investigation is underway after a woman’s body was found near the Red Lake River in the Smiley Township. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Department is confirming that the body found is that of 40-year-old Tanya Marie Kazmierczak of Thief River Falls. Kazmierczak had been reported missing since early Sunday morning. Now friends and those that don’t even know her are sending out their condolences.

A homicide investigation is underway after a woman’s body was found near the Red Lake River in the Smiley Township. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Department is confirming that the body found is that of 40-year-old Tanya Marie Kazmierczak of Thief River Falls. Kazmierczak had been reported missing since early Sunday morning. Now friends and those that don’t even know her are sending out their condolences.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office isn't commenting any further other than to say that they’re treating this as a homicide investigation. Although no suspects have been listed at this time neighbors and friends of Kazmierczak say it isn't like her to wander off alone.

Sheryl Vorel: "Praying for Tanya.."

Jim Johnson: "Can't hardly believe it, nothing like this happens in Thief River, it just doesn't happen."

Darlene Trahen: "I was upset, nervous."

The town is in a state of shock as a loving mother, wife and sister is dead after missing for nearly 24 hours. Friends say they last saw her Friday night.

Sheryl Vorel, close friend: "She texted us on Friday and she was having a bonfire on Friday night (Mel: “And then you didn't see her after that and her family hasn't seen her?) nope, nope."

When her husband woke up at 6am Saturday with Kazmierczak nowhere to be found he immediately knew something was wrong.

Vorel: "That's when everything went to hell over here, everything just blew up."

People in the Smiley Township say police cars were parked in the boat dock next to the Smiley bridge all day Sunday when the discovery was made. Neighbors and community members say these streets were packed on saturday night as they searched for their neighbor but now they're left with many unanswered questions.

Vorel: "We don't know why this happened, why it happened to her is unbelievable because she was the sweetest person you could ever ask for."

More than 200 people came out and searched.

Darlene Trahan: "A bunch of people over there, a bunch of people out front there looking for her everywhere on Saturday."

People are now teaming up, sticking together so this doesn't happen to anyone else.

Vorel: "It's not a situation we take lightly now, and so we're going to be on our guard."

Trahen: "It can, it can happen."

Anyone with information is being asked to call the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office at 218-681-6161.

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