BENZIE COUNTY, 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.
It’s a mystery with very little for investigators to go on.
About 20 miles south of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is Honor -- a village in Benzie County with a population of just over 300.
The disappearance of Quintal is a big deal for the small town.
“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 had been in the family for 75 years and Quintal was visiting to help fix it up.
On Oct. 17, just before 3 a.m., Quintal called a friend in Warren. Bryson said Quintal was scared and sounded panicked as she said she saw people outside the cabin.
Quintal grabbed her gun while the phone was still connected. She told her friend she had shot a man in the face.
Her friend called 911 and when authorities arrived, Quintal was nowhere to be found. Police investigators found bullet holes that showed a gun was fired inside the home shooting out, but Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said there’s no evidence someone had been shot. He said there was no blood or signs of a struggle inside and outside the house.
What investigators did find raises more questions than answers. Quintal’s boots and cellphone were found on the roof of the cabin and her gun was found on the ground under some leaves.
Her car was still at the cabin with the windows shot out.
Police said Quintal’s purse, credit cards, keys and her dog were all at the cabin.
It’s uncertain if she was abducted, if she had some kind of medical issue and fled into the woods or staged the incident to run away.
“I almost hope so,” Bryson said. “Because then she’s still alive. That’s all I want is to know that she is okay.”
The night Quintal disappeared, police searched the area using K-9 units and thermal imaging cameras, but were unable to find anyone. A search party was organized to look the following weekend.
“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. That’s what my gut tells me," Bryson said. “Even though it’s a scary possibility.”
Quintal’s family is offering a $100,000 reward for information. At the end of the month, the reward drops down to $10,000. They hope that if someone has her, they’ll want the money in exchange for her safety.