The cold case of a missing Minnesota teenager, Amy Sue Pagnac, who disappeared without trace nearly 25 years ago, has taken a new twist with police arriving at the family home to do a new search. Police have not made any public statements other than to confirm that they have a “sealed” search warrant. Nobody has been taken into custody, but the missing girl’s mother and stepfather have been escorted out of the house.
It is reported that officers from the FBI, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and Maple Grove Police Department arrived at the house at about 9 a.m. on Sunday. This is where Amy Sue, who was 13 when she was reported missing, lived with her mother Susan Pagnac and stepfather Marshal Midden. The couple, who have owned the property since 1981, still live in the house. A large tent has been set up outside the house, and tennis courts at an adjacent park have been taped off. It is understood that police have begun excavating the lawn on the couple’s property.
Amy Sue Pagnac has been missing since August 5, 1989 when she and Midden stopped at an Osseo gas station so he could use the toilet. They were on their way home after a day trip to the family’s farm in Isanti County. Midden told police at the time that the 13-year-old girl who was five feet tall and weighed a petite 100 lbs, was not in the parked vehicle when he returned from the toilet. Initially authorities thought she had run away, because she had done so once before. A later theory was that she had a seizure, became disoriented, and walked off from the car. The case has been classified a “non-family abduction.” At the time Midden said he had searched everywhere for his stepdaughter but she was not in the women’s toilets, on the local school playground, or in any of the nearby shops.
At the time of her disappearance, Amy Sue Pagnac, who had brown hair and blue eyes, was wearing a light-colored shirt, sweatpants and sneakers. Missing persons’ reports stated that she had several scars including a round scar on her left knee, and scars on her left eyelid, left check, and the side of her nose. Her ears were pierced. Time progression photographs (above) show what she looked when she disappeared and what she would probably have looked like in 2009 aged 33.
As recently as last year, Midden and Pagnac have been quoted as saying they are sure Amy Sue is still alive. Reporters had the opportunity to talk to Susan Pagnac yesterday, in the garage of a friend. She maintained that neighbors they did not get on with had been spreading “vicious rumors.” Some have said they were suspicious about extensive landscaping the couple has done since Amy Sue’s disappearance. She said that her daughter had suffered from a seizure in the spring of 1989, and had moments of extreme anger. At the time of her disappearance she had appeared “normal” for about a month.
This is not the first time the police have arrived at the Pagnac/Midden family home with a search warrant in an attempt to solve the cold case. In 2007 they searched the house for a day, and also went to the family farm. Susan Pagnac said she was pleased that the police were still trying to solve the case of her daughter’s disappearance. It is believed that the police will continue their search for the rest of this week for possible clues of what could have happened to missing Amy Sue Pagnac.
By Penny Swift