Searchers have strong clues about two missing Minnesotans

December 02, 2018 10:24 PM

Searchers tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they have strong clues to follow up on that could lead them to two missing Minnesotans.

Dec. 3 is Rose Forcum's birthday. The then-15-year-old from St. Cloud disappeared with an older friend in 1998. In partnership with the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is putting this active case back in the spotlight. 

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Twenty years has passed incredibly fast and painfully slowly for the Forcum family.  

"It's very difficult searching for answers and different things," said Jamie Forcum, Rose's younger sister. "Stories have come up. I don't really know what to believe."

DIGITAL EXTRA: Why time passing is not always a bad thing in missing persons cases

Rose disappeared in 1998 when she was 15.

"It's hard, I've lived more of my life without her than with now, so I miss her a lot," said Jamie.

Rose's 36th birthday is Dec. 3. The Forcum family gets a birthday cake every year.

Rose lived in St. Cloud with her sister and her father. She and a friend, 21-year-old April Geyer, were known to take off for a few days but they always let their parents know where they were.

On Aug. 10, 1998, they went to Geyer's home in Milaca. The two left there Aug. 12 and their families have never seen them again.

Both families reported the girls missing. According to the Minnesota BCA, they disappeared after attending a party in St. Paul in mid-August of 1998.

A few years later there was a break in the case. Police were told two men met the girls at a party in St. Cloud, brought them to an apartment in St. Paul and killed them. The informant claimed their bodies were buried outside of Wadena, Minnesota. 

In cooperation with investigators, members of Search Rescue and Recovery Resources of Minnesota looked closely at the location six times between September of 2006 and November of 2008.

"And they did a volunteer search with dogs, with helicopters, with horses and it was a huge undertaking," said Alison Feigh from the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center.

She was at one of the searches.

"I was so hoping that we'd have information that we could come back with for the family and we didn't get them in those searches," she said.

However, Jamie Forcum said they did find an old burn pile.


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"But I do know one part of the story is true, because I identified some items that were from the supposed place where they brought their belongings and burned them," she said. "And the BCA brought pictures of the burned, charred items. And I identified a few of the items in the pictures."

SRRRMN Board Chairman Ken Anderson from Emergency Support Services said there are clear indications they're looking in the right area. And he believes they are within a reasonable distance of where the girls might be.

Jeff Hasse from Midwest Technical Rescue Training Associates is a SRRRMN member and was involved in the searches.

"While clandestine graves are generally very difficult to find, we believe that in this case further search efforts are likely to produce positive results," he said.

Twenty years is a long time - maybe now is the right time for someone to talk about what happened. 

"We want justice for Rosie," said Feigh. "This isn't fair, this isn't fair, this isn't OK and someone out there has the answers. There is always hope, there's always the hope for justice."

"We want a couple things in these cases," said Lt. Lori Ellering of the St. Cloud Police Department. "Number one, we want closure for the family, that's first and foremost. But number two, we want to hold the person accountable. It's absolutely critical that the person or persons responsible for Rose not being with her family the last 20 years is held accountable for that crime. But first and foremost we want to bring Rose home."

"Well, if anybody knows anything, I mean imagine if it was your sister," said Jamie. "Justice, we need some justice. With justice comes answers."

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS tried to reach the family of April Geyer for this story, but weren't able to get in touch with them. 
    
If you know anything about what happened to Rose Forcum, please call the St. Cloud Police Department at 320-345-4444.  If you know about Geyer, please call the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office at 320-983-8250.  You can also reach the Minnesota BCA TIP Line at 1-877-996-6222. Or contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST. (800-843-5678)

Search Rescue and Recovery Resources of Minnesota is a private organization whose members pay for most of their own expenses when called upon by families and law enforcement to help. If you'd like to support them or need help, call 855-477-7766, or email: info@srrrmn.org or emergency@srrrmn.org.

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Kevin Doran

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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