MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - Two months before 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted by a masked gunman in St.Joseph, another Minnesota child disappeared without a trace.
More than twenty-six years later, both Jacob and Amy Sue Pagnac are still missing.
Thirteen-year-old Amy was last seen August 5, 1989 when she went to an Osseo gas station with her father. They were on their way home from a trip to their family's farm in Isanti County. Amy's father told police she was gone when he returned to his car after a stop at a restroom.
Amy's mom recently talked with KARE 11 as she prepared to mark her daughter's 40th birthday on June 15. Amy hasn't been home for her birthday in 27 years.
"We missed her graduation. We missed her first date. We missed her going to college," said Susan Pagnac.
She added, "It would be wonderful if we could have her 40th birthday with her. The last birthday we had was when she turned thirteen. We lost a whole lot of birthdays."
Amy's mom was sure her daughter, who had recently suffered seizures, did not run away when she was at the gas station where she stopped with her father.
"He called me and said 'I'm looking all over for her. Where is she? What happened? Is there something going on that I didn't know about? Is she at home?' I knew something was wrong and told them that right from the get go. Told them something was wrong. This was not normal behavior, even for a seizure," said Susan Pagnac.
When police dug up land on the family's properties in 2014, Pagnac said she was grateful for the renewed media attention to Amy's case.
"I didn't feel uncomfortable because I knew it was something that had to happen and Amy was finally going to get some exposure. People actually knew her name, knew who she was and, if somebody knew something, they may actually come forward. That was the hope," said Amy's mom.
But two years later, Amy is still missing.
KARE 11's Caroline Lowe asked Susan Pagnac, "What keeps you going after all these years?"
Pagnac: "I know if there's a way to survive, Amy will find it. And I know she's depending on us."
Lowe: "And, if unfortunately, she's isn't alive, what would it mean to know? Why is it important to know versus not knowing?"
Pagnac: "I know there's a very good chance she isn't alive. I know that. Then I will belong to the next club that nobody wants to belong to. Instead of being just a parent of a missing child, I'd be the parent of a murdered child."
Lowe: "You need to know?"
Pagnac: "We need justice! Amy needs justice. The community needs justice."
In a statement to KARE 11, Maple Grove Police Captain Adam Lindquist said, "Amy Pagnac has been reported missing since 1989. First and foremost, we grieve for the family and friends of Amy, not knowing her whereabouts for the last 27 years."
"The Maple Grove Police Department has worked tirelessly, along with numerous agencies and organizations, to answer the question, where is Amy? We owe it to Amy as we work through this difficult investigation to bring her home The Maple Grove Police Department will continue to thoroughly investigate all leads. We ask the community if anybody has information about Amy to please call the Maple Grove Police Department at 763-494-6100."
Asked by KARE 11 if police have any suspects in Amy's disappearance, Captain Lindquist said, "Based on the investigation thus far, there is no person identified as a suspect or person of interest in this case.The extremely difficult factor continues to be we do not know Amy's whereabouts. "
Amy Sue Pagnac and Jacob Wetterling are just two of 25 Minnesota children listed as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
MN Department of Public Safety
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
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