MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Authorities are searching the Maple Grove home of a girl who disappeared 25 years ago at age 13, but they’re not saying what prompted the search or what they’re looking for.
Maple Grove police, the FBI and sheriff’s deputies searched the home Sunday where Amy Sue Pagnac used to live, Police Capt. Keith Terlinden said at a news conference.
“We plan on being on this site for several days and we’ll try as much as we can not to disrupt the community,” Terlinden said. “The actual details of why we’re here today, I can’t give them to you at this time. The search warrant that we executed today is a sealed document, so it will not be public data.”
Police served a search warrant at the family home on Sunday. Monday they brought in more resources and storage.
Authorities say the search will last until Friday at least, possibly longer. While investigators won’t give details, they say they believe there is more information out there to be found.
“It’s inconvenient. But if the end goal, it brings Amy home, it doesn’t matter,” Susan Pagnac said.
Amy disappeared from an Osseo gas station in August 1989. Her father had stopped to use the restroom, and he told police she was gone when he returned.
Terlinden declined to say whether the parents, Susan Pagnac Sr. and Marshall Midden, were suspects. Nobody has been arrested, he added. Neither are staying at the home while the search is being completed.
Susan Pagnac said she wasn’t sure what led authorities back to her home or whether police considered her a suspect. She said she was just glad authorities were stepping up their investigation.
“I have been trying to get law enforcement to do things for 25 years now, and having the fact that they’re going to do something, even if it doesn’t make much sense to me, is wonderful,” Pagnac said. “I just want her home, I want her to have her life, make her choices.”
Pagnac said investigators looked at her home twice before. The first time was a year after Amy went missing.
“They went through Amy’s room and all her stuff,” she said. “They didn’t do a real long, detailed investigation. It was probably that afternoon looking through things.”
The next time she says was years later, in 2007, where she said police produced a search warrant and spent most of the day there. Police won’t elaborate too much on this latest time.
She said while she welcomes the new attention to her daughter’s disappearance, she believes they’re looking in the wrong spot.
“How can they find anything? She’s not there. She left with my husband and disappeared at the gas station,” she said. “She didn’t come home again, so I mean, how can they find anything?”
She said she’s never given up on the search since her daughter went missing.
“I’ve been pestering them constantly since day one. ‘Do something, do something. What are you doing? What are you finding?'” she said.
Midden declined to comment.
Police were at the home for most of the morning, coming in and out of the residence carrying large crates.
Susan Pagnac was 8 when her sister went missing. She said she didn’t think anyone in the family was a suspect, and that she and her mother believe police didn’t take the initial disappearance too seriously because they thought Amy was a runaway.
“I do fear that she is a victim of trafficking,” she said. “I’ve kept almost everything. Maybe there is some paper work of Amy’s that was missed.”
Susan Pagnac said she believes Amy is still alive. She said anyone with information should call police.
“She was smart. Smart enough to find a way to survive,” she said. “I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sad that the only thing they can do is look at the family.”
Carol Watson, of Missing Children Minnesota, said she’s happy to see activity in the case but reminded everyone to keep in mind, few details have been released.
“We know nothing. Maybe they’re looking for a body, maybe they’re looking for evidence, maybe they’re looking for references to somebody in her diary,” she said. “We don’t know what they’re looking for so I urge people not to jump to conclusions and not to turn this family into monsters.”
Police are asking for help from the community. They want any of Amy’s friends from ’89 to call police so they can better understand what led up to her disappearance.
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