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Updated: Search launched for missing Hager City woman

A search effort that began over the weekend continued Tuesday following the disappearance of a Hager City woman who never came home after a night out in Red Wing.

Family members launched search parties on Tuesday for 23-year-old Marya Ann Christiansen after Pierce County sheriff's deputies halted the official search a day earlier.

Andrew Johnson led a meeting Tuesday for searchers who gathered at the Red Wing Legion.

“We don’t have answers, we don’t have clues, we don’t have nothing,” said Johnson, the brother of Christiansen’s boyfriend.

Authorities turned their focus to reviews of video surveillance, additional witness interviews and a check of Christiansen's bank activity for clues to her whereabouts.

Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said Red Wing police have taken the lead role in the investigation.

While authorities worked the investigative side, Christiansen’s family organized a private search effort in Red Wing.

Johnson urged attendees at a Tuesday morning meeting to get down in the dirt and start searching.

“We want to get people in a better area so we can search harder,” he said.

Hove said the search on Sunday covered land, Mississippi River waters and an air search conducted by a Wisconsin State Patrol helicopter.

"We looked in every hole we could think of," Hove said, adding that Christiansen's phone has not transmitted a signal authorities can track.

A Facebook page dedicated to finding Christiansen was established and chronicled the search effort. The page reported volunteers and law enforcement searched for Christiansen Sunday in Red Wing, Hager City, Ellsworth, River Falls, Bay City, Plum City, Pepin, Maiden Rock and at Treasure Island Resort and Casino.

Hove said a review of Christiansen’s bank records showed no activity.

Deputies said Christiansen was last seen at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Red Wing. Her boyfriend notified police Saturday afternoon that she hadn’t returned to their home on County Road OO.

Hove said since Christiansen is an adult, authorities have to allow for the possibility that she intentionally disappeared.

“We’re kind of lost right now,” she said.

Hove said Christiansen was out drinking with friends on “a girls’ night out” Friday night at Kelly’s Bar in Red Wing. The group got a ride back to a friend’s house in Red Wing when Christiansen decided to leave, the sheriff explained.

Hove said Christiansen’s friends tried talking her out of leaving, but she drove off by herself. Christiansen didn’t seem distressed at the time, Hove said, adding that there was no indication of problems at home.

The effort to locate Christiansen on Monday included supporters contacting garbage collectors, trucking services and delivery drivers in the area.

"We will continue to keep everybody updated as best we can,” the Facebook page stated Monday. “Please continue to share posts and pictures. We really appreciate the support that everyone has offered."

Two children live at the home with Christiansen and her boyfriend, Hove said.

Christiansen was driving a white 2006 Dodge Caravan bearing Wisconsin plates 443-VPF. The van is reported to have a large amount of rust below both sliding doors on both the passenger side and the driver's side, a large dent in the front driver's side fender and the rear passenger side taillight area and a magnetic, pink ribbon-style sticker on the rear overhead door. The vehicle was suspected to have been on its way to the County Road OO home.

Christiansen is described as being about 5 foot 2 and 150 pounds.

She has blonde hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a red short-sleeve shirt, black leggings and black boots. Christiansen also has two tattoos: a lion and a ribbon reading “Grandma.”

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office at 715-273-5051.

Pierce County Herald Editor Sarah Young and Red Wing Republican Eagle reporter John Russett contributed to this report.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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