Dive team searches, but one year later still no trace of missing West Fargo twin – InForum

Dive team searches, but one year later still no trace of missing West Fargo twin – InForum

WEST FARGO – The family of a West Fargo woman is marking a sad anniversary this week: the one-year anniversary of her apparent disappearance.

Jonett Wanner of West Fargo has not been seen or heard from since the afternoon of July 11, 2023, when she logged off from her work computer at home.

Her identical twin sister, 51-year-old Joenell Bachman, said the anniversary and the entire month will be tough.

“We think about her every day,” Bachman said of her missing twin sister.

The twins’ brother, Jeff Aberle of Fargo, said he believes someone out there has information but either doesn’t want to share it or doesn’t realize their knowledge could be helpful.

Identical twin sisters, both with strawberry blonde hair, stand smiling arm in arm

In this undated photo, identical twin sisters Joenell Bachman and Jonett Wanner are seen. Jonett Wanner, a resident of West Fargo, has been missing since Tuesday, July 11, 2023.


“We are not giving up,” Aberle told The Forum.

The West Fargo Police Department said there was no new information regarding Wanner’s disappearance, but the investigations division would continue to follow all leads.

Anyone with information or tips on Wanner’s whereabouts should contact West Fargo Police at 701-515-5500.

The family recently received additional assistance from outside law enforcement agencies in searching several bodies of water in Minnesota based on the license plate number of Wanner’s car.

Last fall, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office in St. Cloud said a deputy “coincidentally” ran a license plate belonging to Wanner on August 12, but they were not aware at the time that Wanner was missing.

The vehicle was not stopped and the officer who checked the license plate could not remember what type of vehicle it was, the statement said.

two people stand next to a street guard on one of the two signs of a missing poster

Joenell Bachman, identical twin of Jonett Wanner, is seen with her brother Jeff Aberle near Wanner’s home in the Shadow Creek neighborhood of West Fargo on Thursday, August 3, 2023. Wanner, pictured on the missing person poster, disappeared on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

Prompted by the sighting of the license plate, Wanner’s daughter asked a dive team from Illinois to search the lakes and ponds in the Minnesota area.

According to their Facebook page, Chaos Divers, based in Harrisburg, Illinois, accepts tips from families whose loved ones have disappeared in a vehicle, often solving unsolved cases.

In early June, the dive team searched Big Watab Lake, Big Fish Lake and a private pond in Stearns County, as well as Big Cormorant Lake in Becker County and Leaf Lake in Otter Tail County, where Wanner once had a lake house, Aberle said.

All searches were unsuccessful.

He said the dive team plans to search several other areas on its next trip.

This is not the first time that a clue or search has led to disappointment for the family.

Woman with strawberry blonde hair, wearing jeans and flannel shirt, holding her older dog with bow tie

Jonett Aberle Wanner, 50, of West Fargo holds her elderly dog ​​Scooby, a Chihuahua-terrier mix. Both have been missing since Tuesday, July 11, 2023.


Last August, a Valley City farmer reported that he had spoken to Wanner when she asked him for directions. The tip led to an extensive search at several lakes in Barnes County.

The tip proved invalid when another woman called the police and said she was the one who had spoken to the farmer that day.

“Every time we get a bit of information, it seems like we have more questions than answers,” Aberle said.

Wanner is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 100 pounds, has blue eyes and strawberry-blonde hair, authorities said. Police said she was traveling in a gray 2017 Nissan Rogue with North Dakota license plate 261AZY and likely with her dog, a Chihuahua terrier named Scooby.

When Wanner left her home, she left her cell phone behind.

Police were initially unable to unlock the phone, but then managed to gain access, Bachman said, but found nothing that would have provided any clues.

A blonde woman, looking sad and angry, stares to the side.

Joenell Bachman sits on the porch of her identical twin sister’s home in West Fargo. Jonett Wanner has been missing since Tuesday, July 11.

Chris Flynn / The Forum

When the family realizes that a year has passed since Wanner’s disappearance, they have a request for the public.

“Keep an eye out for her and her vehicle,” Bachman said.