February 20, 2018 04:51 PM
Thirty-five children from Minnesota are currently considered missing by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
One of those children is Amy Sue Pagnac who disappeared nearly three decades ago.
Behind the locked door, deep inside the Maple Grove Police Department are boxes of classified files.
There are search warrants, tapes of interviews, medical records, a map of Pagnac’s place on Hemlock Lane on one wall.
A blueprint of the family’s farm in Isanti is posted on another wall.
There are reminders of Amy Sue Pagnac then and age progression pictures of what she would look like now.
In a secure room, evidence of Amy is everywhere and yet, she is nowhere to be found.
“We’re not going to put it on the shelf and collect dust,” said Capt. Adam Lindquist with the Maple Grove Police Department. “You can see sitting in this room dedicated to her, we keep track of things and what we’re doing.”
“I was really expecting her to be found this year,” said Susan Pagnac, Amy’s mother. “Because of everything going on and all the press.”
Her parents, police the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI have all been looking for Amy twice as long as she’s been known to be alive.
Pagnac was 13 when she vanished from a gas station in Osseo in August of 1989.
Her mom says Amy was excited to start 8th grade and go shopping for school supplies that night.
“I know she was a victim of some form of crime in my heart because there’s no way she would’ve stayed gone,” said Susan Pagnac. “There’s no way she wouldn’t have tried to contact us if she could.”
Despite all the documents, there are actually few clues to explain what happened.
Here’s what is known: Amy and her stepdad, Marshall Midden, were headed home from a day trip at their hobby farm.
They stopped at a gas station for a bathroom break.
When Midden came back to the car, Amy was gone.
“He looked around for her at the point he started calling me,” said Susan Pagnac. “Did she get impatient, walk home, was there something else going on, where in the heck is she, he was hysterical.”
She says Amy had been prone to seizures and severe headaches.
On occasion, she’d become disoriented and even wandered off. But that didn’t last long. Certainly not overnight.
Pagnac said Midden called police and they told him to go home. They said they would meet him there to take a missing person report.
“It makes it a difficult challenge to go back and fill in all those pieces of the puzzle,” said Lindquist. “We have a lot. We still need more.”
The last person known to have seen Amy was her stepdad. Authorities interviewed him.
KSTP asked to interview him for this story, but he opted not to and stood by Susan Pagnac as we talked to her.
Both Midden and Pagnac say they took and passed polygraph tests.
“We haven’t named anybody as a suspect or anybody as a point of interest,” said Lindquist.
Still, Pagnac and Midden realize they’ve been under suspicion like anyone else.
On several occasions, investigators excavated the Pagnac’s farm in Isanti as recently as 2014.
Their home in Maple Grove has also been examined.
They used huge machinery, equipment and technology that didn’t exist when Amy disappeared. The tools are capable of going where officers can’t, digging deeper into the ground.
The exhaustive search was part of a larger plan to locate the teen or evidence leading to her.
Pagnac’s parents understand the commotion and need to know.
“The major thing they were doing, getting Amy’s name out there,” said Pagnac.
Amy’s mom admits it’s been hard to hold it together all these years.
Amy would have been 40. Her family has missed a lifetime of birthdays and holidays.
She’s missed every day since Aug. 5 1989.
Pagnac realizes her daughter vanished so long ago, people may not remember or even realize it.
That’s what motivates Missing Children MN.
“We know that when the public knows about a case, responds to a case, there’s a better chance that information that’s needed to solve the case will come in,” said Teresa Lhotka, Missing Children MN.
Perhaps you weren’t alive at the time and didn’t know Amy’s name or story.
“We owe it to Amy to continue to work through this difficult case and bring her home,” said Lindquist.
That she’s missing and she matters and she’s her daughter.
“We just want to see her again,” said Pagnac. “We just want to be able to talk with her again. We will never, never stop trying to find her.”
The investigation is especially challenging because there are no eyewitnesses, suspects or evidence a crime was committed.
Police are also interested in finding out who Amy’s biological father is and locating him.
If you have any information about Amy Sue Pagnac’s disappearance, call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.