EPLN published a follow-up article to this story with additional information on Sept. 14, 2021.
Community residents and Eden Prairie police are searching for an Eden Prairie man who left his home for a run at 10 a.m. Sept. 13 and had not returned home as of about 8:30 p.m., according to his wife.
In a Facebook post at around 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, Kristi Elhard reported that her husband, Mike, 39, left on foot wearing running shorts, a running shirt, a black visor and black and white Brooks running shoes. He was not carrying his wallet or an I.D., the post said.
A neighbor, Matt Vanelli told EPLN Monday night that Elhard had not returned home as of 8:25 p.m. Sept. 13. He said that Elhard was carrying his phone and was wearing an Apple Watch and a medical I.D. bracelet.
Vanelli said that Elhard has been training for the Chicago Marathon and often runs east into Bloomington. Neighbors have been on the running and biking trails near Bush Lake and Highland Park, Vanelli said.
Another neighbor, Ali Farm, told EPLN that Elhard was wearing a bright yellow and green tank top. She asked that people check their Ring or Nest doorbells for images of Elhard.
An Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD) missing person alert posted on Facebook at about 10 p.m. said that Elhard left his home traveling west on Jackson Drive near Pioneer Trail and Franlo Road. He was wearing a fluorescent yellow shirt and dark shorts, the alert said.
“We are actively investigating and gathering intelligence on the missing person at this time,” EPPD Sgt. Lonnie Soppeland said when asked if police had been able to track Elhard’s phone or Apple Watch. “We have used all means available to us to locate him.” Any additional information will be provided in a subsequent press release, he said.
Soppeland asked that anyone with information to call 952-949-6200.
Others have walked some of the paths near Elhard’s home on Jackson Drive, including Purgatory Creek, according to Vanelli. He said Elhard likely would have remained on paved trails.
Jackson Drive is located south of Pioneer Tail and west of Highway 169.
Search begins tonight
Kristi Elhard announced in a 9 p.m. Facebook post that a search organized by family and friends will begin at 10 p.m. Sept. 13 from Pax Christi Church, 12100 Pioneer Trail. A red tent will be set up in the parking lot. Searchers were asked to bring lights, wear reflective clothing and rain gear, and good shoes.
“Your safety is very important to us,” the post said.
Vanelli said earlier that a wider search will be organized Tuesday morning, Sept. 14. He said Eden Prairie police had been notified before 4 p.m. Monday.
Mike and Kristi Elhard have two young sons and Mike Elhard has worked at Ecolab since 2018, according to Facebook posts.
This story has been updated with information from the Eden Prairie Police Department.
Steve Schewe and Amy Nylander contributed to this story.
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