PINE RIVER -- The disappearance of Rachel Anthony has residents remembering another missing person case in Pine River 15 years ago.
Anthony, 50, rural Pequot Lakes, was discovered missing from her place of work in downtown Pine River, Ultimate Liquors, at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.
On June 14, 1985, 68-year-old Pine River resident Charlotte Lysdale was reported missing from her Pine River apartment. Her body was never recovered.
Now community members are wondering what happened and are worrying about their safety.
"Hopefully they find her (Anthony) so the town doesn't have to go through this again," Pine River resident Jody Osterloh said Wednesday.
Just as there were no signs of struggle at Lysdale's apartment when she was reported to have disappeared -- suitcases unpacked, car in the garage, fresh grounds in the coffee pot -- Anthony's disappearance also appeared to be without contention. When police arrived at Ultimate Liquors early Wednesday morning the lights and radio were on, and they found Anthony's coat, purse and her keys in the store.
Though circumstances differ, a similarity between Anthony's disappearance and the Lysdale case was apparent to Osterloh and Jackie Wetrosky, also a Pine River resident and employee at Silbaugh's Department Store, located across the street from Ultimate Liquors on Barclay Avenue East.
"She just disappeared," Wetrosky said of Lysdale. "She was just gone."
Though they were just casual acquaintances, Wetrosky said Anthony was a "very nice gal." Osterloh said she couldn't imagine anyone forcing Anthony to do something against her will.
"She looked like she could take care of herself," she said.
Though Lysdale's body was never found, the incident did go to court. Jerome Bye, 54, and at the time a Pequot Lakes real estate agent, was tried and acquitted of a first-degree murder charge in the death of Lysdale.
Lysdale was reportedly last seen at Bye's residence. Bye had bought Lysdale's home on Lower Hay Lake on contract for deed in 1984.
Bye is believed to be the first person tried in Minnesota for murder without the direct evidence of a body. He was also indicted and convicted by a jury in 1988 for theft of a property deed from Lysdale.
Wednesday's incident has both Osterloh and Wetrosky feeling a little leery, especially because such an incident again occurred in Pine River.
"It's a shock," said Wetrosky. "It's kind of like, 'It doesn't happen here.'"
Describing the town as a close-knit community, Osterloh said in Pine River everybody knows everybody and everybody watches out for everybody.
"People become much more conscientious and cautious," when something like this happens, she said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.