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Ryan Johnson, Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, Published September 01 2009

Family presses on in search for Gina Anderson

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. – It’s been more than 10 months since Gina Lin Anderson disappeared from here without a trace, but family and friends haven’t given up hope they will find her.

A prayer vigil was held this past weekend in Anderson’s hometown, both as a way of keeping hope alive and a chance to remind the public that the search is still ongoing.

Friends and family recently took the time to organize this past weekend’s event, while they’ve also been pushing for a bigger search effort, including the state’s National Guard.

Jackie Pagel, Anderson’s younger sister, said she has tried to convince Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to send the Guard to the area so a search 100 miles in radius could be conducted around Thief River Falls.

Although the effort failed, family members say they hold out hope that pressure from the public may change the governor’s stance, and Pagel called on people to write their local legislator and the governor to persuade them to conduct the search.

Meanwhile, Judy Lappegaard, Anderson’s mom, said that months of searches and public pleas for information have resulted in numerous tips and some rumors, but no solid leads or discoveries.

“We would like some closure, we would like some answers,” she said. “If she is out there and alive, we’d like that person to come forward so we could get her back home.”

Jeremy Anderson, Gina’s husband, said he wants people to be aware the family hasn’t given up hope.

“We’re not going to stop until we bring her home,” he said.

Anderson has been missing since Oct. 23 and was 32 years old at the time of her disappearance. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs about 165 pounds and has blond hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen leaving her home in her yellow 2002 Pontiac Sunfire with Minnesota license plate number 224AEA. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information about her disappearance, and anyone with information is asked to call the Pennington County (Minn.) Law Enforcement tip line at (218) 681-6161.


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