SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – A Southfield woman has been missing for more than a month since she disappeared from her family’s cabin near Traverse City after a disturbing phone call to a friend.
Investigators aren’t sure if Adrienne Quintal, 47, was abducted or went missing in the woods.
Quintal, who went by “Ada," went to her family’s cabin in Honor, Michigan, to fix up the home and get it ready for the winter. But a disturbing phone call to a friend was the first sign something was wrong, police said.
The population of Honor is just over 300. It’s about 20 miles south of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. In a village so small, this type of disappearance is a major story.
“It’s hard not having answers,” said Quintal’s sister, Jenny Bryson. “It’s been over four weeks. Every day is harder and harder.”
Bryson said the cabin has been in their family for 75 years. Now there’s a note at the cabin, asking Quintal to call if she comes back.
Officials said Quintal made a phone call around 2:45 a.m. Oct. 17 to a friend in Warren. Her friend said Quintal was scared.
“She heard noises,” Bryson said. “She sounded panicked.”
Quintal told her friend she saw people outside the cabin, so she grabbed her gun while the phone was still connected.
“(She said), ’Oh my God, there’s somebody out there. Oh my God, I shot him in the face,'" Bryson said. “Those were the things (her friend) heard.”
The friend called 911. A deputy got to the house at 2:58 a.m., but Quintal was nowhere to be found.
There were bullet holes that showed a gun was fired from inside the home, police said.
Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said there’s no evidence someone had been shot.
“Other than the bullets, nothing was out of pace,” Schendel said. “No blood, no evidence of somebody injured, or a struggle. We didn’t see anything, both inside the house and outside the house.”
What they found raised even more questions. Her boots and a cellphone were found on the roof, officials said. Her gun was in leaves on the ground underneath.
Quintal’s car was still at the cabin, with the windows shot out from the gunfire, officials said.
Her purse, credit cards, keys, several other cellphone and her dog were still at the cabin, according to authorities.
Investigators have one theory that she was abducted, but police are also investigating whether she had some kind of medical episode and is in the woods or if she staged the incident to run away.
“That’s a possibility,” Bryson said. “I almost hope so, because then she’s still alive. That’s all I want to know, is that she is OK.”
The night Quintal disappeared, investigators searched the area around the cabin. They returned the following weekend with an organized search party, but nothing turned up.
“From the time this started to the time where we are right now, there’s just a lot of missing pieces of the puzzle,” Schendel said.
“Someone took her,” Bryson said. “That’s what my gut tells me. Even though it’s a scary possibility, all of the other scenarios -- nothing makes sense.”
Michigan State Police are also helping with the investigation in Metro Detroit, but nothing they’ve found points to what found have happened.
It’s frustrating for her family and her community as they search for answers.
“We solve just about everything that comes our way,” Schendel said. “But this one is a head-scratcher.”
“It’s excruciating,” Bryson said. “My stomach is in knots every day. I see her. I just want to know she’s OK.”
Quintal’s boyfriend was with her at the cabin until two days before the incident, police said. Since he was the last person to see her, he was a person of interest, but nothing more.
Quintal’s family is offering a $25,000 reward for information, but it expires at the end of the month. They hope that if someone has her, they’ll want the money in exchange for her safety.