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Cody family still searching for answers two years after loved one disappears

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Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-29 20:56:24-04

CODY — Another woman is missing from Wyoming. Authorities say 28-year old Breanna Mitchell disappeared from a two track trail near Saturday, July 22. A Laurel, Montana man also went missing from near Cody a few weeks ago.

And, the many cases of missing Indigenous women in Montana and Wyoming have drawn national attention. Meanwhile, the family of a Cody woman who disappeared two years ago is still hurting and searching.

In 2021, Danelle Messick’s truck was parked at the Crystal Springs rest stop on Highway 16 between Lovell and Burgess Junction in the Bighorn National Forest.

Missing Persons advocate Angela Lassiter found Danelle’s truck on site July 18, 2021, on a Google Earth map. Lassiter said the 45-year woman would not have abandoned the truck.

Lassiter commented, “Inside of her truck was her ID, her birth certificate, her debit card, social security card, anything that you’re going to need to start a new life.”

Since Danelle was from Cody, and the truck was found near Lovell, the Park County Wyoming Sheriff, the Big Horn County Sheriff, and Wyoming’s Department of Criminal Investigation are involved.

Park County Wyoming Sheriff Darrel Steward was a DCI agent then, and investigated the case.

He remembered, “FBI’s been contacted by DCI after I left DCI. They’ve used polygraphs and profilers and stuff like that to eliminate suspects.”

Wyoming’s Big Horn County Sheriff, Ken Blackburn gave more information on the case.

Blackburn said, “Late last summer, early fall that we deployed several drones and searched this area that would get any shred of evidence, or would locate the presence of human remains.”

Blackburn said dog and horse teams also searched the area, and he talked to other agenciesacross Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota.

Danelle’s family thinks something may have happened to her in Park County. Her father Bill Messick said she was upset because she may have accidentally started a fire that damaged a man’s home. They last saw her the day before her truck was parked roadside.

Messick commented, “She was upset about the fire. She wanted to know what she could do, and I told her to go out and apologize.”

Danelle’s sister, Wendy Salazar, commented, “She had a different attitude of she was scared.”

Danelle’s Mom, Sheila, remembered, “She was just very anxious about something like something was going to happen. She knew it was going to happen.”

Is it possible Danelle may have just wanted to disappear. She had three sons, and had just become a grandmother.

Sheila commented, “She was very close with her oldest son. I think if she was out there, she would have called him.”

If you know anything about Danielle Messick’s disappearance, the family wants you to call either Wyoming’s Big Horn County Sheriff, or Park County Sheriff at 307-527-8700.