Washington couple Monique Patenaude and Patrick Shunn went missing earlier this week. Late Thursday night, police found cars belonging to the pair in a remote wooded area in Oslo.
According to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the two vehicles, a Land Rover and a Jeep, went over an embankment and landed near each other. Currently, investigators are unable to reach the SUVs and have not determined if Patenaude and Shunn are in them.
The vehicles were found by a search and rescue helicopter flying over the area. Officials said they were making every effort to reach the cars sometime on Friday.
Patenaude, 46, and her 45-year-old husband were reported missing on Tuesday. Several neighbors reported one of the couple’s dogs running loose on their rural property in Arlington, but the couple was nowhere to be found. Calls to their cell phones go directly to voicemail.
Officers went out to the couple’s home but did not find anything out of the ordinary. Nonetheless, police launched both ground and air searches of the heavily-wooded area around the home.
A friend and former co-worker of Patenaude, Cynthia Fawcett, spoke highly of the couple and was disheartened when she learned they were missing.
“My gut just instantly sank. They’re amazing people. They go out of their way to help anybody. Monique is a friend who’s got your back no matter what.”
Patenaude and Shunn met at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada. At the time, Patenaude was living in British Columbia, Canada, and Shunn was a resident of the U.S. The couple often traveled between the countries before she moved to the states in 2013.
Fawcett said the pair enjoyed the outdoors and did a lot of hiking and fishing while living on their 23-acre property.
“This is so unlike their character,” she noted. “They have animals — Monique is very regular with making sure her chickens get out at five in the morning. She would never leave her dog.”
According to Patrick’s brother, Erik Shunn, the missing Washington couple had several problems with a neighbor who continually harassed Patenaude. The man, who is also missing, was a squatter on a property next to the couple. He believes the key to finding his brother and sister-in-law is locating the illegal neighbor.
The pair were also having legal issues with some other neighbors for bringing unleashed dogs and recreational vehicles onto their private property. They were to face trespassing allegations in a civil trial scheduled for later this year.
Since it is very atypical for the couple to not regularly communicate with friends and family, authorities fear the couple are victims of foul play. So far, no suspects have been named nor a possible motive.
“They’re working all angles of this, kind of backtracking from where we know they were lost and working forward,” said Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton.
Erik Shunn posted on Facebook that his brother did not show up for work at an aircraft interior refurbishing company on Tuesday, which is very unusual for him.
“I have a really bad gut feeling about this,” he said. “I have a really, really bad gut feeling. And I felt like that from the start.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a missing couple case in Florida recently ended in tragedy. In February, Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana were found dead inside a submerged car in a remote area of Miami-Dade County. The couple had been missing for several days before divers found their Toyota Corolla underwater.
Monique Patenaude was last seen Monday around 1 p.m., and Patrick Shunn was last seen at work also on Monday. Family from across the country are gathering in the state to help with the search.
Anyone with information about the missing Washington couple is urged to call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department at 425-388-7939.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]