Updated 8:07 a.m.
Hundreds of people gathered at a Chaska swamp Sunday night as divers searched the water for two 19-year-old women from Shakopee who went missing early Saturday morning.
Shortly after noon Sunday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations put out a press release seeking the public's help in locating the women: Bushra Abdi, 19, and Zeynab (Hapsa) Abdalla, 19, who left work during a break early Saturday morning and later called 911 for help.
A search of Chaska was conducted on Sunday, and by evening, a car believed to be theirs was found submerged in a swamp at Highway 41 and White Oak Drive. Hundreds of people — many of them Somali-American —gathered at the scene to wait and watch. A heated tent was erected by the Victoria Fire Department for the families of the women.
CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said one body was pulled from the water and a second was in the vehicle and had not yet been extracted from the pond as of 10 p.m. No official statement had been released by police to the press, however.
Shortly before 9 p.m., a megaphone was used to make a statement in Somali that a Chaska police officer said indicated one body had been found, but the bodies would not be brought into the tent for the family to view. Shortly before 10 p.m., another statement was made in Somali indicating another body had been found. People were urged to leave the scene.
According to the Star Tribune, the women were cousins and best friends and were last seen in a 2006 gray Chevrolet Impala, according to Habsa Abdi, Bushra’s sister. Habsa Abdi told the paper Abdalla drove from work at Amazon to a Chaska Heights Senior Living facility where Bushra worked shortly before 3 a.m. She told the paper she believes the two went to a convenience store to get snacks and something happened.
The Star Tribune reported that police said someone made a 911 call in Carver County saying, “Help me!” before the line went dead.
The women were not seen or in contact with family since leaving work in Shakopee and Chaska on Friday and Saturday, according to a statement by the Shakopee Police Department, which headed up the investigation into their disappearance.
Those with information about the case can call the Shakopee Police Department at 952-233-9400 or the Chaska Police Department, 952-448-4200 or CAIR-MN, 612-206-3360.