OLMSTED COUNTY, Minn. (KTTC) -- Linda Jean Anger. It's a familiar name to many long time Olmsted County residents. It's a name that's been on the national missing persons database for nearly three decades. It's also a cold case that's kept law enforcement perplexed since 1993.
While Linda Anger is still listed as a missing person, investigators don't believe she is still alive. Linda never got the chance to watch her children grow up, get married or have children of their own. She would be 67 years old now.
Where is Linda Jean Anger? It's a question that's stumped Olmsted County investigators for the last 27 years.
A Friday in 1993
It was a Friday morning, that started like any other for then 13-year-old D.J. Anger.
"My dad was bringing my mom to the courthouse to see if she could get some assistance to get her own place," Linda's son D.J. said. "And she never came back. That was it."
That day was May 7, 1993, the last D.J. would ever see his mom. It was also the day Linda's co-workers reported her missing.
Olmsted County Sergeant Lee Rossman was the deputy who filed Linda's missing persons report back in 1993.
"They state that on the morning of May 7, the ex-husband gave her a ride to the community services at the Olmsted County Government Center...the old courthouse," Sgt. Rossman said. "He said he didn't know where she went after that, where she might have been at the time. Just basically that she disappeared from there."
Sgt. Rossman describes it as one of the first red flags in the case.
"The people at the office say they never saw her there. Of course, you know, that's a big red flag," Sgt. Rossman continued. "He says he dropped her off in the parking lot. That parking lot is very small and she didn't show up in that office. So something there wasn't the truth."
As is the case now, detectives back in 1993 had a lot of questions.
"She's an adult and she has the ability to go and do what she wants to do at this time. There are some situations or at least some people believe she would not likely get up and leave," a detective on the case in 1993 told KTTC.
She was in Rochester for her children
Linda was a new Rochester area resident and a mother of two young boys, 11 and 13. She was living with her ex-husband and his new wife, moving from the Arizona sunshine, seeking a fresh start for her children.
"She wanted what was best for me and my brother. That was the reason she took us to Minnesota. She was not from up north. Born in California, we lived in Arizona," D.J. said. "And we moved in the middle of winter so that wasn't the funnest thing I'm sure."
Now an adult, with children of his own, D.J. often thinks about his lost mother.
"After looking back on it, you always wonder what it would have been like if she were here," D.J. said.
Sgt. Rossman often thinks about the case as well; a major unsolved mystery in the third year of his career.
"We never had any indications that she talked about suicide or hurting herself or leaving the area. She wanted to be with her kids," Sgt. Rossman said. "And that's why she was living in that house with her ex-husband and his new wife. She wanted to be with her kids. She was fighting for her kids."
Red flags surfaced at the time
Now, nearing 30 years later, Sgt. Rossman still remembers what he calls "red flags" from that first initial report.
"While talking with Dennis Anger and his wife, they appeared nervous, hands shaking, stuttering voice," Sgt. Rossman said, reading from the report. "When I was there it would have been three days after she was initially reported missing. They had already cleaned out her bedroom...So, they had already accepted that she wasn't coming back to the house. Which is another red flag, that something happened here that we weren't being told about."
Dennis actually spoke with KTTC shortly after Linda's disappearance.
"I don't know where she might be. She's never done anything like this before," Dennis told KTTC in 1993. "She uh, she...her kids are her life and her kids are with me and I don't know where she's at."
When asked what D.J. thinks happened to his mom, his answer is immediate.
"Oh, I definitely think my dad had something to do with her disappearance," D.J. said.
Dennis Anger died in 2007, possibly taking with him any chance at finding out what happened to Linda. This fact hasn't stopped investigators -- and it could actually help the case.
"I think with people knowing that he is no longer alive and not have the ability to come back and threaten to do things to other people that someone who might have been holding back information all this time in fear of him, might now realize that they can speak up," Sgt. Rossman said.
"We are pretty sure that we know what happened, it would just be nice to find out where," D.J. said.
Holding out hope that the right lead will come along.
"Obviously our main suspect isn't alive, but like we mentioned there could be somebody that he talked to," Sgt. Rossman said. "Maybe they saw him in a different place back in that time."
And close the case for good.
"Solve this case," Sgt. Rossman said. "Get it done."
Dennis's wife is still alive -- and supposedly living in Minnesota. D.J. tells KTTC that he's asked his step mother point blank if she knows anything about his mother's disappearance. She told him she did not.
Even after all of the time that's passed, investigators believe that someone, somewhere knows something. If it's you, contact the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office through Crimestoppers of Minnesota, either by phone at 651-452-7463 or online at www.crimestoppersmn.org. It's Olmsted County Sheriff's Office missing person report #93005058.