MONTGOMERY — Emilie Trunik, the 36-year-old head chef at The Belfry Restaurant and Pub, has been found safe and well, according to Vermont State Police.
A press release was sent mid-afternoon on Tuesday but with few details. VSP St. Albans barracks Lt. John Flannigan told the Messenger this morning that Trunik was located out of state, though he would not elaborate.
“She’s not accused of any wrongdoing and I want to respect her privacy,” said Flannigan. Comments and posts on Trunik’s Facebook page indicate she is believed to be in New Jersey.
Flannigan did add that police were able to check on Trunik’s situation and locate her using her own records. “We were asked to check her welfare by her family,” he said.
Trunik was reported missing by her Belfry co-workers last Thursday after she left to give a ride to a friend and never returned. Trunik reportedly was spotted in St. Albans in her black, two-door, soft-top Jeep Wrangler in St. Albans at 11 p.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday, but police were unable to locate her over the weekend.
Family and friends had not heard from her as of Monday, according to police.
Many Montgomery residents on Tuesday couldn’t help but be reminded of Brianna Maitland, a 17-year-old who disappeared after leaving the Black Lantern Inn on March 19, 2004 and who has still not been found. This unsolved case is active and ongoing, and foul play is strongly suspected.
In Trunik’s case, she is well known in Montgomery, having lived there for more than a decade. According to Trunik’s Facebook page, she is originally from Guilford, Conn. She has a daughter who, according to Facebook, attended school in Quebec.
Questions still remained Tuesday, much of it fueled by what some said was Trunik’s sudden, unannounced departure. According to Sylvester’s Market employee of four years Jade Cota, this was the first time she knew of that Trunik left for a longer period of time.
Others working in the store also expressed concern. Two employees stood in the back room, using an iPad to look at social media and find out where Trunik may be.
Montgomery Town Clerk Deanna Robitaille said she had little information about Trunik, though she had several people calling and asking questions. She said one woman called to say she had helpful information and was referred to police.
At the Belfry, several of Trunik’s co-workers stood outside Tuesday, visibly emotional prior to the news that Trunik had been located safe and well by VSP later in the day. Belfry’s owner Marty Lumbra, chose not to comment as well due to the sensitivity of the situation.
Vermont State Police sent out their press release at 3:29 p.m. saying Trunik was located safe and well, and that her family had been notified.
Trunik’s Facebook page has since filled with comments happy for her safety.
“It’s good to hear a happy ending, for a change,” one read.