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Cold case: Minnesota woman identified after 3 decades

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The curious missing person case involving a Becker County woman appears to have been resolved.

The Forum News Service reports that a woman found dead in a Wyoming gravel pit in 1983 has been identified as Mary Lynn Andersen of Frazee, Minnesota.

In 1982, Andersen who was 23, apparently disappeared after moving to Gillette, Wyoming. Becker County Chief Deputy John Sieling said family members waited until 1986 before filing a missing persons report with the Becker County Sheriff.

By then, a woman's body had been found in a gravel pit in Wyoming, but since the missing person report was filed after Andersen’s death, the connection between the body and the missing woman had never been made.

A month ago, an independent investigator working for a Canadian agency that specializes in missing persons made the link, Sieling said. The investigator contacted Becker County with the tip and Sieling worked with Wyoming’s Division of Criminal Investigation to test DNA samples to seek a match with Andersen. Family members had provided DNA samples to the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in 2008. Two weeks ago, tests came back positive for a match and the family was informed that Andersen and the woman found dead in Wyoming were one and the same, Sieling said.

Andersen left her daughter with her parents before moving to Wyoming, according to the Doe Network, an organization devoted to missing persons. When family members did not hear from her for over a year, they found out from her husband that she was missing, the Doe Network’s website stated.

Valley News Live in North Dakota reported that the investigation into the disappearance is "still very active and authorities say they have potential suspects."

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