Letter to the Editor
My daughter, Raffaella Stroik, loved Mark Twain Lake when she visited it with her sister Gabrielle and brother-in-law Tom four years ago. She returned last year on Nov. 12 to make a personal retreat and was found mysteriously drowned on Nov. 14. Raffy was a ballerina with a deep faith who lived to spread joy to all she met. Her mother and I are crushed, as are her five siblings and her many family and friends.
I write to thank all the people of Monroe County who assisted in the search for Raffaella. The police and park rangers who gave of their time. The local pilot, Butch Pennewell, who found her body. Fr. Greg Oligshlaeger of Holy Rosary church who led the search party in prayer and accompanied us through that harrowing day. The State Police, especially Lieutenant Steve Wilhoit and his staff that worked so diligently and gave comfort to us. I want to emphasize that the people of Monroe County were incredibly generous to us. You gave us free meals, hotel rooms, and hunting clothes. You prayed for Raffaella and for us. We were the least of his brethren and yet you welcomed us. We did not deserve your kindness.
We still do not know how Raffaella drowned that day. If anyone has information about her trip to Mark Twain Lake on November 12, we would be truly grateful. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and God bless the citizens of Monroe County.
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