Published On: Sun, Nov 18th, 2018

St Louis: Missing ballet dancer, Raffaella Maria Stroik, found dead in rural Missouri lake

A St. Louis ballet dancer found in a rural Missouri lake Wednesday has been identified as Raffaella Maria Stroik, who disappeared Tuesday.

Stroik, 23, found in Mark Twain State Park, about 100 miles northwest of St. Louis, after a park ranger found her car in the park. She was last seen Monday morning at a Whole Foods store in suburban St. Louis.

Raffaella Maria Stroik

Police rolled out an extensive search, involving over 100 law enforcement officers, volunteers and family members, when a pilot flying over the lake spotted Stroik’s body.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Brown reported that there were no signs of foul play, but no cause of death was reported.

“Her keys were found lying outside the vehicle,” Brown said. “They appeared to have been intentionally placed in a certain spot on the vehicle.”

Authorities are continuing to investigate her death. An autopsy has been scheduled.

The ballet company’s artistic director, Gen Horiuchi, issued a statement Wednesday on Stroik, who joined the company in September 2017.

“She was a wonderful dancer and a beautiful person,” Horiuchi said. “We extend our condolences to her family. We are very sad over the loss of this talented and beautiful spirit.”

Stroik had performed in company productions of The Nutcracker, Giselle, Cinderella and others.

The St. Louis Ballet posted this message to Facebook Wednesday afternoon:

“As we process this heartbreaking tragedy, we want to take this time to celebrate this beautiful dancer, spirit, and human being. Her warm and bright smile will be so very missed in the hallways and in rehearsals. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with her family, those who knew her, and all the dancers and staff who are grieving. Please join us in in this tribute if you knew her by saying something you remember about her.”


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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