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By Stephen J. Lee, Published January 05 2009

Gina Anderson search to go underwater, sister says

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The search for a missing Thief River Falls, Minn., woman will go underwater later this month, the woman's sister said Sunday.

Jackie Pagel, sister of Gina Anderson who went missing two months ago, told The Herald of the new search effort, the first in a few weeks, through e-mail.

She wrote that authorities in St. Louis County have offered a submarine vehicle that detects metal to use in a search of the Thief River, which runs through Anderson's hometown. She wrote that the search could happen late this month.

“They will be putting it in the (Thief) river in different locations just to rule out that Gina’s car could possibly have been put in the river,” Pagel wrote.

Details of the search still are being finalized.

Anderson has been missing since she was seen by neighboring workers as she drove away from her house Oct. 23 in her bright yellow Pontiac Sunfire.

Less than two months later, Anderson's younger sister, Jill Lappegaard, died Dec. 7 in a car accident southwest of Thief River Falls.

Lappegaard lived with her parents, Judy and Steve Lappegaard, in Thief River Falls and her death, on top of Anderson’s mysterious disappearance, was a heavy blow to the family.

“We are doing OK, just getting through day to day and coming to grips with the loss of my younger sister Jill and also keeping the search going for Gina,” Pagel wrote in her e-mail.

Anderson left behind her purse in her house, with her seizure medication that she needs daily, her family and law enforcement said.

Her husband, Jeremy Anderson, was cleared early on of being a suspect, and passed lie detector tests, investigators have told reporters.

Anyone with information should call the Pennington County Law Enforcement Center in Thief River Falls at (218) 681-6161 or the family’s Web site, www.helpfindgina.com.

The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.