Donna Kay Krnak & Thomas John Krnak
Updated: Jan 14
Donna Krnak, her husband Allen Krnak and their son Thomas Krnak went missing on July 2nd 1998 from Helenville, Wisconsin. The family and their dog were reported to be heading north to their cabin in Coloma, Wisconsin for the 4th of July weekend.
Their older son, Derek Anderson previously Andrew Krnak, (he changed his name shortly after the disappearances) reported his family missing seven days after he claimed to have last seen them.
On July 10th, the family’s black Chevrolet truck was found near Reedsburg in Sauk County, Wisconsin. The vehicle appeared to have been wiped clean of any fingerprints and no luggage was present. There was no sign of the Krnaks or their dog.
In 2001, skeletal remains that had been found in 1999 in the Roy Taylor Forest in North Carolina were determined to be Allens. Near Allen’s body the remains of a dog were found as well as a woman’s t-shirt, a pair of men’s briefs, and Donna’s wedding ring. Despite extensive searches no signs of Donna or Thomas were found.
On the day of Allen’s disappearance, he had received a phone call at work and had become very distressed. Before leaving work early he mentioned having a family emergency and “may have to go to a funeral.” Derek Anderson denied making the call to his father at first but later admitted to it.
Anderson was living with his parents in 1998 and was a student at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. He was unemployed and had tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.
Allen’s co-workers later testified that Allen and Anderson had a troubled relationship and at one point Allen had claimed that his son had attacked him with a club.
Anderson had frequented the Roy Taylor Forest when he had been a student at Western Carolina University from 1991-1996. In July 1999, he pleaded guilty to federal loan fraud and spent time in federal prison for lying on an application for a student loan.
In February 2001, after being released from prison he was charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with his fathers death. Anderson was originally charged in North Carolina, but after it was determined there was no evidence to indicate Allen had been killed in North Carolina charges were dropped and then he was charged in Wisconsin.
In 2006, Anderson pleaded not guilty to his fathers murder and his lawyers argued that there was no evidence connecting him to the crime or to the dissapearances.
The prosecution countered that Anderson murdered his family for financial gain as they had an estate estimated between $550,000-$600,000. In April 2006, he was found guilty of his fathers murder and convicted to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Although no one has been charged in the connection of Donna and Thomas’ disappearances, authorities believe they were murdered by Anderson and their bodies may be anywhere between Wisconsin and North Carolina.
Any leads or information can be directed to:
Jefferson County Sheriff's Department 920-674-7310