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Kittson County gathering new info on woman missing since 1995

Becky Jo Look

HALLOCK, Minn.—Kittson County investigators are taking another look at a missing person case that is two decades old after learning that foul play may have contributed to her disappearance.

The Kittson County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday, Aug. 7, in a Facebook video it had leads regarding Becky Jo Look, who has been missing since 1995. Deputies spent Wednesday searching an undisclosed area for evidence in Kittson County, Sheriff Steve Porter said. Hallock is about 70 miles north of Grand Forks, N.D.

"It's always been open, and it's been something on the back of our minds," Porter said. "We just decided to take a good look at it. ... We found some kind of compelling information that tells us she probably never left Kittson County."

Look moved from Albuquerque, N.M., to Halma, Minn., to live with a man named Todd Spilde, according to the sheriff's office. The then-41-year-old woman went missing in the first week of October 1995, Chief Deputy Matt Vig said in the Facebook video. She wasn't reported missing until February 1996.

"We decided to take this case out, take a fresh look at it," Porter said on Facebook, asking the public for help in the case. "Turns out there's a lot of work that needs to be done."

Investigators previously looked into tips Look rode a bus back to Albuquerque, but those reports were never verified, Vig said.

There are no suspects or persons of interest at this time, Porter said, but foul play may have contributed to Look's disappearance. Look didn't call family to say she was coming home on a bus.

"She kind of just disappeared," he said. "We have to go with an assumption that something happened, and now with the new lead we got the other day, it strongly suggests that something did happen."

The sheriff's office decided recently to interview locals to see if deputies could turn up any new leads. One of Look's friends noted it was strange that the woman left without saying goodbye. This week, two people gave the office "emotional statements" regarding the case.

"The information we are finding out on other stuff, it seems to be pointing right back to Kittson County," Porter said. "We have work to do. We have stuff to follow up on, but I am convinced that there are more people that know something about Becky."

Porter declined to speak about the specifics of the leads and statements but said he hoped more information on the case could be released Thursday.

Porter said he and his office want to give Look's family some closure and find out what happened to her.

"If we have a case like this, we owe it to ourselves as law enforcement officers to give it our best shot at trying to get it solved, and that's what we are doing," he said. "We owe it to the community to give it our best shot."

Anyone with information on Look is asked to call the sheriff's office at 218-843-3535.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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