Remember Danielle Stella?
That Danielle Stella.
In addition to being wanted, she’s been suspended from Twitter in November for opining that her political opponent “should be tried for #treason and hanged” based on an unfounded rumor. But she’s still active on Facebook and Instagram, and ostensibly still campaigning. She recently sent her followers a “Happy Valentine’s Day” post with her “Stella 2020” logo in the corner.
Beyond that, things have been pretty quiet. The Daily Beast recently confirmed that the warrant for her arrest is still active, and that she somehow managed to raise nearly $84,000 by the end of 2019. But it also reported on another bit of Stella-related "news" that arose last weekend.
Montagraph, a conspiracy theorist YouTube channel with 50,000 subscribers, seems to think that Stella was being held against her will in an Osceola, Wisconsin hotel. He unveiled this theory -- with no clear evidence to back it up -- in a video released last Sunday.
Here’s the deal. This thing is two hours long, and the host presents no proof whatsoever for his claims. We’d generously describe it as a… challenging… watch. But here are some highlights.
Here’s the part where he calls The River Valley Inn and Suites in Osceola and badgers a desk clerk for Stella’s room number… which the clerk won’t give him.
And here’s the part where he apparently calls law enforcement, who is… also maybe in on it? Apparently?
At some point, Montagraph -- who identifies himself as "Steve Quest," calling from Denver -- is told police have located Stella, and that she's "safe." (Unlike the call to the hotel, viewers can't hear both sides of that conversation.) He greets this information as a relief, credits his followers for putting pressure on local law enforcement, and later celebrates by eating some ice cream. On camera.
And here’s the part where Montagraph talks about someone reportedly drawing Stella’s blood, “to capture her DNA.”
We’d advise taking this information with a grain of salt, but plenty of people reportedly didn’t. The Daily Beast reported the hotel was “deluged” with calls, and the police eventually showed up.
A spokesperson with the Osceola Police Department tells City Pages the incident is still under investigation, and details of what happened are not available. Police Chief Ron Pedrys says one thing he can share is that there were no arrests. Stella didn't respond to interview requests.
Meanwhile, Omar’s other challengers are left handling the fallout from Stellamania. Lacy Johnson, who has raised $500,000 in his quest for the Republican nomination, told the Daily Beast he worried about how headlines about Stella might reflect on the other campaigns.
“Candidates are reflections of the party in a way, and it’s not a good reflection of the party in a sense,” he said.
Johnson also offered he would not be running for Congress if he was “on the run from the police.”