July 18, 2011— -- Colorado police have called off their search for a woman who disappeared near what's known as the Mayhem Gulch Trail, but her friends and family believe the extremely athletic woman could still be alive.
They also fear there could be a link to disappearance to a Craigslist ad she had posted several months ago.
Amy Ahonen was last seen on July 8, the day before her 38th birthday.
Her car was found on the side of Highway 6 in Jefferson County, Colo., with her belongings in it, including the keys in the consul, her purse under the seat and her hiking backpack in the vehicle. The car was left unlocked.
Andrea Ahonen finds it strange that the car was unlocked. She said that Amy's car had been broken into before so she was careful about locking the doors.
The area where the car was found is not residential, but is a heavily traveled scenic route where people sometimes leave their cars to go hiking or rafting.
Police Stop Searching for Amy Ahonen, But Friends and Family Still Looking
"What kills me is this isn't a remote road, it's a well-travelled road. You can't count to 60 without a car going by," Andra Ahonen said. "Someone had to have seen her and we just hope someone will say something."
"Our concern is that somebody picked her up on the side of the road and she could be anywhere," Andrea Ahonen said. "Nobody knows where else to search right now."
Andrea Ahonen says her sister had an frightening experience with a man several months ago when she used Craigslist to advertise for a roommate, and she has told police about it.
Hoping to save some money, Amy Ahonen posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a roommate. In March, a man who responded came to look at the place and "tried to kiss her," according to her sister.
"She got very freaked out about it and took the ad down," Ahonen said. As far as she knows, this was the only contact her sister had with the man. When Andrea looked through her sister's emails, she did not see any further contact and could not figure out who the man was.
Andrea Ahonen said one of her sister's neighbors said Amy described the man only as a tall, black man. Amy Ahonen removed the ad after the incident, but her sister believes the incident is worth investigating.
Amy Ahonen is 5-foot-4 with light blonde hair and blue-green eyes. Extremely athletic, Ahonen is a member of a co-ed hockey team, a hiking club and a curling club. Her family is based in Taylor, Mich., and Ahonen is one of five children.
Angela Afetian has been Amy Ahonen's best friend since the first grade. "If anybody can hang tight…we still have faith that she can get through this," Afetian said.
Afetian saw Ahonen's mother Betty last week. "As any parent would be, she's distraught," Afetian said.
While some have speculated that Ahonen may have gone for a hike, her sister Andrea is not convinced.
"She is a hiker, but I don't think she would go far alone," Andrea Ahonen said. The backpack contained her sister's Swiss army knife and her first aid kit, which Andrea doesn't think Amy would have left behind during a hike.
Ahonen's roommate, Kim McDaniel, saw her around 1 p.m. and Andrea Ahonen said Amy was expected at work at Red Lobster at 6 p.m. that day.
While the Denver police have called off ground searches,they are still holding Ahonen's car as evidence in the investigation. Family, friends and volunteers continue to search for Ahonen in the area around Mayhem Gulch Trail where the car was found. The Denver police did not immediately return calls for comment.
"We feel that she's alive out there somewhere. I seriously think someone has her," Andrea Ahonen said. "She was just an extremely loving, caring person who would help anyone and I hope someone helps her."