Dozens of volunteer search for missing MLT woman

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Volunteers gather at a tent to pick up flyers and get an area assigned. (Photos by Natalie Covate)

One thing was on the minds of everyone gathered in the Mountlake Terrace Police Department’s parking lot on the corner of 58th Avenue West and 232nd Street Southwest.

“We want her back,” Mountlake Terrace Police Commander Kevin Pickard said. “Her family does too.”

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Cheryl DeBoer

Cheryl DeBoer was last heard from on Monday, Feb. 8 when she texted her work friend that she forgot her work badge and couldn’t meet her to carpool. Her friend said she would wait for her, but couldn’t reach her.

Pickard says there hasn’t been any activity on her phone since. The phone was not in her car, which was found Monday near the Transit Center overflow parking, located in the 23400 block of 58th Avenue West.

Friday morning, dozens of friends, family and neighbors got together to hand out flyers, knock on doors and search Veteran’s Park. Volunteers have met up every day since Tuesday, but Friday had the biggest turnout.

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MLT Police Commander Kevin Pickard speaks about the investigation.

Neighbors are upset something like this would happen in Mountlake Terrace. People who knew DeBoer are worried about her.

“This doesn’t seem like typical behavior for her,” a neighbor volunteering to search Friday morning said. She didn’t want to be named. “She is such a great person. She always came to block parties and talked about her son, she seemed to be very much in love with her husband. She is just a positive person and so easy to talk to.”

Pickard says there are no suspects or persons of interest in the case so far. He said there is no evidence of foul play, though the circumstances are suspicious.

Investigators are still going through surveillance video from the Transit Center and nearby businesses. So far, Pickard says they haven’t seen DeBoer on any of the footage investigators have reviewed.

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DeBoer’s niece expresses concern for her aunt.

It’s still unclear if DeBoer got on a bus Monday morning. Surveillance footage doesn’t show her getting on a bus. Family members said at a press conference Tuesday night that she never said she would take a bus, though initial reports indicated she did.

There has been no activity on her credit cards.

“I’m concerned,” Alicia Coragiulo, DeBoer’s niece, said. “This is out of character for her. We want Cheryl home and home safe.”

Investigators are now interviewing DeBoer’s friends and family for any leads as to what may have happened.

“This is a very sensitive investigation,” Pickard said.

Investigators ask anyone who may have seen anything suspicious on Monday morning, or who think they have seen Cheryl since, to call the Mountlake Terrace Police Department at 425-670-8260. Pickard said any tips, no matter how small, are helpful.

The outpouring of support from the community gives friends and family hope.

“The community response has been amazing,” Lisa, one of Cheryl’s coworkers, said.

If you want to help the search parties, crews will be going out until about 6 p.m. tonight. Meet the volunteer coordinators in the Mountlake Terrace Civic Center parking lot at the corner of 232nd Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West.

You can also pick up flyers at the tent to distribute to your business, church or other group.

Volunteers are also asking for donations of hand and foot warmers today as search parties work outside in the heavy rain.

Search party organizers say they may continue tomorrow and are organizing the search on a day-by-day basis.

–By Natalie Covate

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