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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

St. Louis Ballerina Raffaella Stroik's Body Found in Mark Twain Lake

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 12:20 PM

click to enlarge Raffaella Stroik's vehicle was found near Mark Twain State Park Lake. - COURTESY MSHP
  • Raffaella Stroik's vehicle was found near Mark Twain State Park Lake.

The body of a missing St. Louis ballerina has been discovered in Mark Twain Lake, authorities say.

Raffaella Stroik, 23, was last seen Monday in Town and Country, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol opened a missing person investigation on Tuesday after her Volkswagen Jetta was left overnight in a parking lot next to a boat ramp at the lake in rural Monroe County.

Shortly before noon, troopers confirmed Stroik had been found in the water and was dead. The cause of death was not immediately released. Troopers have scheduled a news conference for 2 p.m.

A pilot of a private plane spotted Stroik's body this morning and contacted police. Troopers with the highway patrol's water patrol division responded about 9:40 a.m. and pulled her from the water.

The Jetta was locked, and investigators discovered her keys had been placed on the front left tire, Sgt. Eric Brown tells the Riverfront Times. But little else is known about what happened between Monday morning when she was spotted at a Whole Foods Market and when she was discovered.

As of midday Wednesday, Brown said they had not found any signs of foul play.

"We not been able to make a determination as to the circumstances that led up to her death," Brown says.

Stroik was a professional dancer with the St. Louis Ballet, joining the company in 2017. She is from South Bend, Indiana, and is the daughter of prominent classical architect Duncan Stroik.

In a statment, Gen Horiuchi, the executive and artistic director of the Saint Louis Ballet, said, "We mourn the death of our friend and colleague Raffaella Maria Stroik. She was a wonderful dancer and a beautiful person. We extend our condolences to her family. We are so very sad."

Editor's note: This story was updated after publication with additional information.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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