Cold Case: Anne Barber Dunlap

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Anne Barber Dunlap

(credit: CBS)

By Caroline Lowe, WCCO-TV

(WCCO) – Anne Barber Dunlap was brutally murdered on New Year’s weekend in 1995. Her body was found in the trunk of her car. She had been repeatedly stabbed in the throat and neck.

Although no one has ever been arrested for her murder, police have and continue to investigate her husband, Brad Dunlap. He insists he is innocent.

Anne Barber Dunlap, 10 Years Later

Donn and Louise Barber lost their only daughter when she was brutally murdered on New Year’s weekend 10 years ago. While they wait for justice, they’re helping other women in their daughter’s memory.

Anne Barber Dunlap lives on through women such as Laura Forero, who is on track to get her MBA at Dunlap’s alma mater, the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Forero is one of 10 women the Barbers have helped with a scholarship fund they created in Anne’s memory for MBA candidates at the Carlson School.

“I never met her,” Forero said, “but from what I’ve heard of her and her career and what she did, I really relate to her, because she loved doing what I’m passionate about doing, which is marketing.”

Forero is from Colombia, and she wasn’t living in Minnesota when Dunlap’s high-profile murder took place.

“I think it would be very painful to really know what happened,” Forero said.

As the Barbers find comfort in helping young women finish business school, the person who murdered their daughter remains free.

Minneapolis police continue to focus on Dunlap’s husband, Brad Dunlap, who has never been arrested and insists he’s innocent.

Anne Barber Dunlap was a 31-year-old Pillsbury marketing executive when she disappeared on New Year’s weekend in 1995. Her husband said she had planned to go shopping at the Mall of America to buy shoes.

WCCO-TV first interviewed him that weekend 10 years ago. “We were supposed to meet about 4:30 to run an errand and go out to dinner that night,” he said then. “She never showed up.”

Two days after Brad Dunlap reported his wife missing, friends found her car in a Kmart parking lot. They watched as a police bloodhound combed the area for clues, fearing the worst.

The lot is a just couple of miles from Anne’s parents’ home near Lake Calhoun, where the couple lived while they were building a new house.

When police opened the trunk of the car, they found Anne’s body inside. She had been repeatedly stabbed in the throat and neck. Her diamond ring was missing.

Police focused on Brad Dunlap as a key suspect. One reason: a $1 million life insurance policy his wife purchased just months before she was murdered.

Investigators repeatedly searched the Barbers’ home on Lake Calhoun for evidence. In the months following his wife’s murder, Brad Dunlap continued to live there with his in-laws.

Brad Dunlap eventually moved to Arizona, where he remarried. He still remains close to Anne’s parents, who visit him once a year.

WCCO-TV interviewed Brad Dunlap twice since he left Minnesota. The most recent interview was in January 2005.

“There really isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think of Anne,” he said then. “It’s been a long time, but it seems like yesterday, and I just wish that media coverage would go away.”

In the same interview, Dunlap was presented with the idea that without media coverage, the case may never be solved and someone would get away with murder.

“I don’t have any comment on the media’s plans on solving crimes,” he said.

Police are hopefully someone will pick up the phone and give them the break they need to finally solve Anne Barber Dunlap’s murder. Anyone with information helpful to the investigation is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 612-673-2941.

While the search for justice continues, Laura Forero is grateful Anne Barber Dunlap’s parents took something from their tragedy to give hope to other young women like their daughter.

“I do think about it every day,” Forero said. “It is a huge responsibility on my shoulders to make them proud and make them understand that I really deserve this.”

Anne Barber Dunlap’s parents declined to be interviewed on camera for this story, but told WCCO-TV they are very proud of the young women who have received the scholarship.

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