Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Allen, Donna and Thomas Krnak vanished on July 2, 1998 from Hellenville, Wisconsin. The three were supposed to go to the family's fishing cabin, in Waushara County, for the fourth of July. Their pick-up truck was found a week after their disappearance in a remote section of the Wisconsin forest in Baraboo, Sauk County, with unexplained mileage. Their older son, Derek Anderson, told authorities he saw them heading out the driveway in Thomas Krnak's pickup truck after work, on their way north to the family cabin.
In February 2001, unidentified remains discovered in December 1999 in the Roy Taylor Forest, North Carolina, were eventually identified as being those of Allen Krnak. Krnak died from blunt force injuries to the head resulting in numerous skull fractures. The remains of the family's dog, who disappeared at the same time, were located near his remains. Despite extensive search in the area no traces of Donna and Thomas have been found.
Since the beginning of the investigation, Derek Anderson, formerly known as Andrew Krnak, (he legally changed his name soon after the family's disappearance), was considered a suspect in the disappearances. He had had repeated conflicts with his family.
With Allen's remains being located in an area Anderson was known to visit while studying at Western Carolina University, he was eventually charged for his murder in February 2001 in North Carolina. But, in August 2003, the charge was dropped as the evidence was insufficient to determine if the murder had been committed in North Carolina. So another homicide charge was filed in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.
In April 2006, Anderson was convicted to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his father's murder. Despite nothing directly links him to the crime he was convicted based on circumstantial evidence. He is the only existing link between Allen Krnak and the area where his remains were found. One of his father's colleagues testified that three months before he disappeared Allen had told her that one night after he returned home Anderson was waiting for him and had tried to club him with something. One of his mother's friends testified that Donna had read her a threatening letter she had received from Anderson in which he stated that if he came back to Wisconsin he would kill the family. Beside, he had left work on the day of his family's disappearance, telling his co-workers there was a family emergency. According to neighbors, he referred to his family in the past tense.
It is presumed that Anderson killed his parents and brother to inherit the Krnaks' estate of nearly $600,000.
Anderson has denied involvement in his family's disappearance and father's death and has been uncooperative with police as for Donna and Thomas's remains location. Some speculate that Donna and Thomas's remains could be anywhere between Wisconsin and North Carolina.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Jefferson County Sheriff's Department
The Milwaukee Sentinel
The Smoky Mountains News