by NATHANIEL NELSON
The Goodview Police Department is seeking help in locating Leigh Elizabeth Meska, 31 of Goodview, after she went missing on Wednesday morning on the way to work in Rochester. Initially, agencies searched near Rochester for her vehicle, but following information received on Thursday, law enforcement officials believe she may be in the La Crosse, Wis., area.
According to the report, Meska is described as five-foot-three-inches tall, 125 pounds, with green eyes and brown hair. She was reportedly wearing a sweater with black leggings and a red jacket on the day she went missing. Meska was driving a 2014 Gray Chevy Impala with Minnesota license plate 136MWK.
Meska left her home at around 6:42 a.m. on January 30, driving from her residence to her job at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. At around 8 a.m., her employers reportedly called Meska’s fiance, Aaron Cada, to check in and see why she had not made to work, and he subsequently contacted the Goodview Police Department.
During a press conference given on Thursday afternoon and attended by Meska’s parents, Michael and Sue Meska, Winona County Sheriff Ron Ganrude and Goodview Police Chief Kent Russell shared an update on the investigation. According to Russell, Meska placed a phone call at 7:30 a.m. to a bussing company in Rochester for Mayo employees to see if the buses were online, which pinged in Olmsted County. Multiple agencies spent Wednesday extensively searching the routes from Winona to Rochester, looking for signs of Mesa or her vehicle.
"Obviously our concern yesterday was that she was run off the road, and time was of the essence,” Russel said.
The investigating agencies found “credible information” that Leigh had been in Rushford, Winona, Trempealeau and La Crosse through video surveillance footage in the respective areas. She was last seen in La Crosse late on Wednesday afternoon, Russel said. She is not suspected to be traveling with anyone.
As a result of the new information, the search for Leigh in Olmsted County was called off, and the investigation was opened in La Crosse County.
“At this time we do not know where she’s at, but we have no reason to believe that she’s not doing OK right now. We do want to find her, though, and locate her and make sure she’s OK,” Russel said. “We ask if she sees this to reach out and contact law enforcement wherever she’s at so we can make sure she’s alright.”
In a tearful remark, Michael and Sue called for their daughter to come home to her family, including her 11-year-old son Cameron. While the new information is a good sign, they said, the search isn’t over.
”I want to thank everyone for helping us, and Leigh –– come home. I know it’s not over yet, and we are still searching, but we are thankful that this good news is happening,” Sue said.
The investigation is ongoing. Those with information about the whereabouts of Leigh or her vehicle are urged to call the Goodview Police Department 507-452-1500 or Winona County Law Enforcement dispatch at 507-457-6492.