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‘I want my sister back’: Candlelight vigil held for missing Santa Rosa woman

A much-loved woman who disappeared about a year ago was remembered Saturday at a candlelight vigil for her laugh, her passion and for being “a fighter.”|

Loved ones of a missing Santa Rosa woman came together Saturday evening to celebrate her memory and try to reawaken interest in her search.

A candlelight vigil -- with butterfly luminaries and a dramatic orange and pink sunset as backdrop -- highlighted the happy Terra Trunick, the one with a brilliant smile and a fun sense of humor before she fell victim to drug addiction and mental health issues. It has been just over a year since she disappeared.

“She was my little sister at Athena House,” said Rebecca, Trunick’s friend from a Santa Rosa drug rehabilitation program. “And she gave me a run for my money.”

“She was a fighter and funky and a hell-raiser. ... I’m shocked that my friend has not popped back up. I’ve looked everywhere for her and I can’t seem to find her,” she said through tears. “I miss my friend.”

The vigil was attended by about 40 people, less than expected as some stayed away due to COVID-19 concerns. Trunick’s foster father, Jim Mapes, said his wife, Kimberly, who had planned the event for months, was heartbroken that she had to stay home sick with the coronavirus.

“We’re just trying to get (Trunick’s) name out there,” he said. “We’re trying to get her kindness, her spirit, her love of life out there.”

Trunick was last seen Jan. 11, 2021, on the 2700 block of Santa Rosa Avenue, near Yolanda Avenue, according to Santa Rosa police, who previously sought the public’s help in finding her.

Trunick, one of nine children, led a troubled life. She was placed in foster care when she was 4. She had lived with two different families before moving in with the Mapes family of Oakdale when she was 15. She later relocated to Santa Rosa to try to reconnect with her biological family, including her sister, Jessica Boughner of Guerneville, who testified at the vigil, “I just really want my sister back and I want her back safe.”

Trunick met Chris Prior in Santa Rosa, and the couple became engaged and had a son, Brayden, now 5. The two couldn’t stay clean, though, and Brayden was taken by Sonoma County Child Services. Prior, now sober, sees the boy three times a year, has a new baby daughter and is getting married in April.

“I’m trying to balance my two lives,” Prior said. “Fiance and dad at home and (finding) my first son’s mother. I’m not going to stop till we find her.”

A slideshow put together by a family member gave a glimpse into the happy times Trunick had with her family and friends, including baby Brayden.

A prayer “for those who are searching now” was recited and a moment of silence was held. Those gathered then took turns talking about Terra. There were donation buckets for people to contribute to the ongoing investigation.

Trevor Venetti, a private investigator with Windsor security firm Armourous, urged the crowd to “please, please keep going on social media” to keep Trunick top of mind. He said anyone wanting to look for her should focus on Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Richmond and Novato.

A tip line has been established at 855-411-TIPS and callers can remain anonymous.A GoFundMe page can be found at bit.ly/3FPdmXW.

“She had so many dreams and passions,” friend Athena Kostick of Santa Rosa told the crowd. “I know she knew she was very loved.”

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com.

Kathleen Coates

Windsor and Cloverdale, The Press Democrat 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I enjoy covering what's happening in Windsor and Cloverdale, which are growing in their own unique ways.  I delve into issues by getting to know people and finding out what’s going on in the community. I also pay attention to animal welfare and other issues that affect Sonoma County.

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