Neighborhood residents and Eden Prairie police are looking for an Eden Prairie resident who, according to his wife, left his home for a jog on September 13 at 10:00 am and did not return home at around 8:30 p.m.
In a Facebook post around 7:30 p.m. on September 13, Kristi Elhard reported that her husband, 39, Mike, left on foot wearing running shorts, a running shirt, a black visor, and black and white Brooks running shoes. The post said he didn’t carry his wallet or ID.
A neighbor, Matt Vanelli, told EPLN on Monday night that Elhard had not returned home as of 8:25 p.m. on Sept. 13. He said Elhard was carrying his phone and was wearing an Apple Watch and a medical ID bracelet.
Vanelli says Elhard trains for the Chicago Marathon and runs frequently east to Bloomington. Vanelli said neighbors are on jogging and biking trails near Bush Lake and Highland Park.
Another neighbor, Ali Farm, told EPLN that Elhard was wearing a bright yellow and green tank top. He asked people to check the Ring or Nest doorbells for footage of Elhard.
A missing persons alert posted on Facebook at around 10 PM by the Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD) said Elhard had left his home, traveling west on Jackson Drive, near the Pioneer Trail and Franlo Road. The warning said he was wearing a fluorescent yellow shirt and dark shorts.
“We are currently actively investigating and gathering intelligence on the missing person,” said the EPPD Sergeant. Lonnie Soppeland said when asked if police could trace Elhard’s phone or Apple Watch. “We used all the means at our disposal to find him.” Any additional information will be provided in a future press release, he said.
Soppeland urged anyone with information to call 952-949-6200.
Others walked some trails, including Purgatory Creek near Elhard’s home on Jackson Drive, according to Vanelli. He said Elhard would likely stay on paved roads.
Jackson Drive is located south of Pioneer Tail and west of Highway 169.
The search begins tonight
Kristi Elhard announced in a Facebook post at 9 PM that a search organized by family and friends will begin at 10 PM on September 13 from 12100 Pioneer Trail, Pax Christi Church. A red tent will be set up in the parking lot. Searchers were asked to bring lights, wear reflective clothing, raincoats and good shoes.
“Your safety is very important to us,” the post said.
Vanelli previously said a wider search would take place on the morning of Tuesday, September 14. Eden said Prairie police were notified before 4 p.m. on Monday.
According to their Facebook post, Mike and Kristi Elhard have two young sons and Mike Elhard has been working at Ecolab since 2018.
This story has been updated with information from the Eden Prairie Police Department.
Steve Schewe and Amy Nylander contributed to this story.