Authorities search for missing 35-year-old woman who wandered into the woods

CEDAR HILL, MO - Authorities in Jefferson County were searching for a 35-year-old woman whom they say was missing as of 2:30 p.m. Monday.

According to the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office, Heather Bodnar wandered away from a home in the 9200 block of Morse Mill Road and into the woods.

Chief Mick Fischer with the Cedar Hill Fire Protection District told Fox 2, there are conflicting details from family members as far as Bodnar’s medical condition is concerned.

Fischer added that Bodnar left at her own will.

Search crews were able to locate some footprints or tracks near Big River. They said crews may also have also found some property but they are not sure if that belongs to Bodnar.

Around 7 p.m. search crews changed their location from Morsemill Road to White Road off of Highway C so they could try to get closer to her.

“We believe she’s alive,” Fischer said, “we found some footprints by the river so at this point we are just tracking her and trying to find her. The problem we have is that she’s not really lost, we believe she’s trying to avoid us so it’s more of us trying to catch her and that makes it very difficult.”

Deputies said they are working on releasing a photograph to the public to help with the search.

As of 9 p.m., Monday Fischer said that rescue crews were searching with thermal imaging cameras. St. Louis County Police was also en route with a helicopter with infrared. Fischer said search would be brought to a halt by end of Monday night.