Police: Shoe only clue to teacher who went missing after run
Sidney, Montana, residents have created a Find Sherry Arnold page on Facebook to coordinate searches for the teacher.
January 9th, 2012
01:32 PM ET

Police: Shoe only clue to teacher who went missing after run

Police and residents are combing through the town of Sidney, Montana, in hopes of finding a teacher who went missing after going for a morning run, leaving behind no trace besides a lone shoe, the city's police chief told CNN.

Schoolteacher Sherry Arnold, 43, left her home Saturday morning for a run along her normal path, but she never returned, Sidney police Chief Frank DiFonzo said.

DiFonzo said that teams have been searching areas around the eastern Montana town since Arnold's disappearance using dogs and aircraft. He said the National Guard was also assisting.

Police described Arnold as 5 feet, 10 inches and 140 pounds with black hair. She was last seen wearing a blue sweatshirt with a white stripe and red nylon pants with black leggings.

Police are looking into different scenarios regarding Arnold's disappearance, but they believe she may have been abducted or possibly hit by a vehicle, DiFonzo said.

"Everything's accounted for, her personal things, her vehicle is accounted for," Bob Burnison, the assistant police chief, told CNN affiliate KRTV-TV in Great Falls. "We just feel that there's something drastic, either happened to her or something to that effect, why she wouldn't have made contact back."

The police chief said there was no evidence the shoe remained behind after an animal attack, one scenario that residents had been floating.

Christine Mullen, 26, a CNN iReport contributor, said that she went to the site of one of the searches, where thousands turned up to help.

"We've got horses going out and ATVs and people just going out on their own," Mullen told CNN. "There's a lot of pasture, dirt roads and farmland to cover."

Mullen said she doesn't know Arnold but she feels the impact of her disappearance.

"In this community when something like this happens, it's not just a small thing where a few people are involved," Mullen said, adding that some employers are even allowing people to leave work to take part in the search. "Everybody is involved."

Mullen's iReport about Arnold attracted strong response from readers, including pleas from residents to help search and bring the teacher's disappearance to light.

Facebook group: Help find Sherry Arnold

"We're such a small community, and crime is absolutely unheard of," Mullen said. "We don't lock our car doors. (We're) completely shocked."

Police said they will continue to search for clues.

"We're going to keep going until we can get some answers here," Burnison told KRTV. "We just want to find her, you know. Our hope is she's OK."

soundoff (249 Responses)
  1. Philip

    ...or she could have just run away from home. According to the FBI's website, over 2,000 American children run away from home each and every day, with only 1,500 being found. Out of the thousands of missing children, only about 100 are found dead each year. Nobody knows what happens to the rest of them, and news of this is NEVER reported nationally. One teacher goes missing and it makes national headlines. 500 children go missing...not even honorably mentioned That really sux..

    January 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      actually they are mentioned, maybe you just dont go the right places. i know at a walmart nearby theres a wall with just a bunch of kids who are missing and their photos. i think ive seen it in other stores as well. and i dont know what you are talking about, whenever a kid goes missing it always seems to make the news. we seem to be living in two separate worlds sir.

      January 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Find Sherry Arnold

      Seriously, Philip? She's 43 years old & left behind all her personal belongings. She didn't "run away from home." There's no way she would've just left behind her family, friends, co-workers and students.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Northeast Montana Resident

      I suppose anything is possible, but actually knowing this woman, I would say that is 99.9% unlikely. I agree that missing chilldren do not get enough press; however, you'd be better to advocate for them by actually doing something, start your own blog, facebook page, whatever...but suggesting that Sherry's disappearance, or anyones disappearance for that matter, is somehow less important doesn't help anyone.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • kude

      She's a teacher. Probably a democrat. Possibly a liberal. Maybe a socialist. If she was a socialist, she won't want her belongings.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashlee

      This comment is totally irrelevant to the situation and I'm not quite sure why you posted this especially since you don't even know this woman or her family. She is not the type of person to run away from her loving household...ever. Additionally, it is understandable that children go missing, of course..but this part of a much larger story of how the oil boom is bringing a lot crime and for lack of better words, trashy situations, to our small communities. SO while this may seem like just a 'missing person ad' (to us who know Sherry it's a devastating story) but it is most certainly a problem on a much larger scale. But clearly you're oblivious to that.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      @Northeast Montana Resident, re 3:06 post:

      And, well said.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      kude why dont you just head back on over to 4chan. no one wants your crap posts here.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      @Ashlee: re: 3:11 post:


      January 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • LisaDe

      But they don't normally leave a shoe behind when they decide to take off for good. One shoe sounds like she struggled and kicked to get away with enough force that the shoe came off. That doesn't sound like I believe I will just check out of my regular life event.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      We're all trying to ignore Philip. One day they'll come for him. Then we'll never hear from him again, unless the nice doctors let him out on a day pass.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      @BOMBO ©
      One would think just once it wouldn't become another one of his crusades, wouldn't ya?

      January 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jb

      shes 43 not a child

      January 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cateyes7

    Hmm, couldn't be a bear since they are now hibernating. Just a thought.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      "Well, that tour included the grizzly exhibit. Thinking I was oh-so-smart, I raised my hand to ask if the zoo's bears go into dormancy each winter. Notice I didn't ask if they hibernated. The docent was quick to correct me. "Bears don't go into dormancy," he said. "Bears don't hibernate either," he said. "Bears go into a state called torpor," he said."

      January 9, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mtwxgirl

      We don't have bears in eastern MT or western ND, at least not since the Lewis and Clark days.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. freespeech

    Unfortunately, the lone shoe sounds like she had been struck by a vehicle, causing the shoe to come off.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Or she could have lost it during resisting an assailant.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yannaes

    She was running to Starbucks for her Latte and is still at her local S/B.
    Better check the joint out.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Northeast Montana Resident

      The local Starbucks is 360 miles away. Jerk.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      shut up you think your comments are clever and funny but no one wants to see that here. go to another website meant for people like you.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mittens

      I've seen some heartless and thoughtless posts here, but yours takes the cake. Pinhead.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LKsSoapBox

      I speak for your parents, no doubt, and for most of us here – if only you were never born – yawnazzwipe. I'm sure if you went missing no one would go looking for you; or, they'd just keep on driving.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • yannaes

      Yeah, she had a long walk, relax.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. hmmm`

    black hair, huh?

    January 9, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lynn

    Her description does not match the picture. Black hair - no way - it's light brown. What else do they have wrong?

    January 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned

      The picture may be a little old. Women change their hair color all the time – maybe she recently changed it to a darker brown.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • helicohunter

      Did you ever think of the possibility that she dyed it? Women do that, you know.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • montana resident

      They say group on facebook and have page for the link. I found there is a group and a page. Group has more available then just hitting like and seeing a few post from one person. I hope they get this on national televised news soon or the search for her finds her or more leads to where she is. Just keep her in the news and keep searching,

      January 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caroline

      Another thing: it said she was wearing red nylon pants with black leggings. Did they mean to say red shorts over black leggings? It's usually pretty hard to see leggings under pants. Regardless, it seems to me that they need to be posting a composite sketch of what the last person who saw her reported she looked like. I agree that the picture and the description seem confusing.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mtwxgirl

    Folks, this is someone's loved one, please be sensitive to that. We are rural eastern Montana, and when one community is hurting, all the neighboring ones are too. We stand by one another and that is something people who rely on their daily Starbucks kick in the bigger cities probably wouldn't understand. 🙁

    January 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Find Sherry Arnold

      Well said, mtwxgirl. I can't believe some of the jacka$$es on this chat board. A woman is missing and it's no laughing matter. We've been through this ourselves with a family member and unfortunately it didn't end well. I hope & pray that Sherry is found alive asap. My heart goes out to her friends, family and co-workers.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • R.S.

      I'm sorry to see so many nasty comments too, but speaking as someone from a very large city, it touches me to read about missing people regardless of the size of the community. Someone in my own neighborhood went missing last year and it inspired people all over the city to search for him. Luckily he was found unharmed two weeks later. It's too bad people have to entertain themselves with someone else's tragedy. They must have pretty sad lives to make jokes of this kind of thing. Just remember we aren't all so unkind. My thoughts are with your community <3

      January 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kude

    wearing red nylon pants... gee, I wonder why she ran away...

    January 9, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Northeast Montana Resident

      Really? I wonder how many people will look for you if you go missing? I bet it tops out at 4. Why don't you leave and find out!

      January 9, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      this was so funny i forgot to laugh. oh no, wait I didn't laugh. this is a news site and someone has gone missing have some respect you little ****

      January 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mittens

      Are you really this box-of-rocks stupid or do you just pretend to be on the Internet?

      January 9, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kehanna

      I agree. How can someone be so rude and mean. Sherry is part of a small town that does not even have a starbucks mind you for whoever left that comment and what do you where when you jog? I do not understand how people can be insencitive to others. thank you cnn for approving this story so we can have national coverage. If she was abducted she could be anywhere now.. It really helps to get her picture and the story out there.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • SidneyMTResident

      Kude, are you serious???? Does it make you feel good to post stupid stuff on CNN, do you have nothing better to do, because if not you could maybe come and help search. I got on here to check out the comments after receiving a disturbing phone call saying that idiots were posting things on here that her two teen children may read. Take into consideration that you may not live in this rural area and you may not know this woman but the people that do take this very SERIOUSLY!! Grow up

      January 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • bd09

      ok, really...what if u went missing, and u were wearing jogging stuff would u want people to make fun of u and say u probably ran away because of the clothes u were wearing? i don't think so...there are people in this community that are trying their hardest to find her, and all u can do is make fun of the clothes she's wearing? how mature of u...i don't think people would talk about u like that if u went missing...this is a teacher, wife, daughter, sister, and mother to a family, and all ur doing is making a joke out of this...this is serious...maybe u should get off ur butt and try to help find her like everyone else...seriously, grow up...

      January 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ac

      Wow....you are the definition of a psychopath. Absolutely no empathy....this is a joke to you? This woman is my aunt, and I am embarassed of the ignorant comments on here. Have some class and find a soul.

      January 10, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kude

    OH, and they really should post her real hair color. Black is genetically impossible. Maybe dark drown...

    January 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      what are you smoking? black hair is genetically impossible? have you ever met more than 10 people in your life?

      January 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Yeah, ok. Troll.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      Oh for EFFS sake, dude ... this is what like your 10th comment on this article? You're not funny, just mildly irritating. My deepest condolences to your mom for popping out such a mediocre loser.

      January 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Math Perfessor

    The shoe needs to be looked at much more closely-she could have kicked it off to leave as a clue. A professional would be able to tell if the shoe came off as a result of a HBC, an animal attack, or a clue left on purpose. Probability distribution says she was abducted while running.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      whats up with your name? are you really a math professor?

      January 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Our speculation doesn't matter.
    Finding her does.
    I sincerely hope she is found, safe and sound.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sidney Resident

      Thank you sooo much!

      January 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gary

    Just pray for her safety.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis Dynneson

      We are and we won't give up. <3

      January 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sidney Resident

    Really? I dont expect you to understand since by the sounds of it you live in big cities! We live in a small town where everybody used to know everybody, where kids could walk to school by themselves and could go play in the park, where we didnt have to lock our doors of our house or vehicle. And now its come to where we dont know one person walking into the grocery store, where we cant let any kids go ANYWHERE by themselves and im terrified to leave my house or go anywhere by myself! Sherry Arnold is a very loved and cherished person in Sidney Montana by everybody! I cant believe how heartless you people are being right now.All we want is for her to be found and returned home safe and alive! How do you think her kids and husband and family are going to feel when they read all of these horrible heartless comments. And to "Phillip" im watching CNN as we speak and there was just something on a missing kid so dont give me this crap about how kids disappearances are never on the news! Mrs. Arnold is only on websites right now...we are angry she isnt on TV! Every missing person should be put on national news. Grow up and have a heart. If your family member was missing i wouldnt be posting such rude comments about them! Come on people just show some damn compassion...if you have a heart!

    January 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kehanna

      That was well said!!

      January 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Northeast Montana Resident

      I agree with everything you said. All the reasons we choose to live here have changed, (cost and safety) but we will have to learn to change with it. I have two teenage daughters and I can't send them to Williston alone anymore, and that makes me sad; however, this is how most of the rest of the world operates and they will have to learn to be more alert and aware so they can survive "out there". That being said, II am hesitant to blame this on 'oil field trash' just yet. (Mostly because my husband has been in the oil fiield for 30 years, and were not trash). Until we know who or what I am reserving judgment, and watching my back.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monatana Mom

      I agree with you 100 %!! I really hope they find her safe and sound. Bless all her family and friends. To all the other insensitive wind bags...Obviously your parents did not teach you that if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all! You are the kind of "people" that make us all cringe!! Get a life!!!

      January 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlene

      Yes as a Sidney resident I am getting a little upset and quite appalled at the heartless and mean comments being made here. GOD FORBID one of your loved ones goes missing!

      January 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bill

    The insensitive comments here really undermine the true meaning of why some of us are here. I am glad that the good people care and will speak out against these ignorant individuals who obviously have no class or respect.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul

    Wow, for those of you folks that are so insensitive about this person being missing, pray that something like this never happens to you. You will regret every word you type today. Easy to sit behind a keyboard and say such nasty things...Consider this, the universe has a way of putting situations in your path to teach you a lesson, so keep saying those nasty things.

    January 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Right on, write on.

      January 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Monatana Mom

      Paul, you could not have said it any better!

      January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
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