Weather Forecast


Worried family of missing Thief River Falls woman wonders what to do next

This photo of Gina Anderson, a missing Thief River Falls woman, was taken during Christmas 2007.1 / 2
Gina Anderson's car is a bright yellow 2002 Pontiac Sunbird with Minnesota plate 224AEA.2 / 2

The father of Gina Anderson, the Thief River Falls woman missing since Oct. 23, said today the family is "stir-crazy," wondering what they can do to help find her.

Steve Lappegaard of Thief River Falls called one of the investigators today, he said. "I told him we are sitting here looking at four walls and if there is anything we can do, anything for us to check out, the car is sitting here, gassed up, ready to go. Just tell us what to do."

The city police, Pennington County Sheriff's Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension all are working the case, but seem to be at a dead end, Lappegaard said.

"They searched the county," he said.

If nothing happens soon, the family is thinking of hiring a private investigator, he said today. He provided the Herald with a more recent photo of his daughter, one taken during Christmas 2007.

His daughter last was seeing driving away from her home about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 23 by three or four construction workers across the street. At least one of the workers chatted with her that day, he said. Investigators talked to the construction workers, who said she didn't seem upset.

But Anderson left her purse, credit cards and other items she might have been expected to take. Although previous published reports said she had left her cell phone, Lappegaard said that, in fact, Anderson does not have a cell phone.

Investigators have said there is no indication that foul play is involved.

Lappegaard said Anderson's husband, Jeremy, is "positively" cleared of any possible involvement. He and the Lappegaards and others were together Friday night "brainstorming," Lappegaard said. One new idea was that when Gina and Jeremy first lived together, when she was 18, in 1994, they lived for about eight months in Lisbon, N.D., southwest of Fargo.

But Jeremy thought that wasn't much chance that would be anything to look at, since they hardly got to know anyone there at the time and it was so long ago, Lappegaard said.

A few leads have turned up nothing. Last Saturday, about 10 friends and relatives went to the Pelican Rapids, Minn., area because of a tip she was seen putting on gas there. But after a relative reviewed video surveillance tapes from the store, no yellow car like hers was found, Lappegaard said.

On Friday, a tip was telephoned in from Fargo, but that turned out to be a dead end, a sheriff's deputy said.

Last Tuesday, the husband of another daughter of Lappegaards, who lives a western Twin Cities suburb, saw a yellow car like Gina Lin's and followed it on to Interstate 94 near Buffalo, Minn. But in trying to catch up to it, he was pulled over by a state Patrol officer and given a speeding ticket, Lappegaard said.

"We have done every other one, contacted somebody to look at (every lead,)" Lappegaard said. "The whole problem is if we could get one lead, so we know which way to go, then we would know where to go. That's what we are hoping for."

A Crookston woman called them to reassure them these things can work out, he said. That woman's teen daughter was missing for several months and recently was found and returned home, he said.

Gina Anderson has been taking medication for seizures the past several months and he is worried she could have health problems without it, or if she isn't taking it. Having a seizure while driving, for example, could cause her to drive erratically.

Lappegaard's daughter in the Twin Cities is on the Internet all day, putting up Gina's information on Web sites and searching, he said.

"This is a nightmare, of not knowing anything, not doing anything. It's a complete nightmare for all of us," he said.

Anderson's car is a bright yellow 2002 Pontiac Sunbird with Minnesota plate 224AEA.