By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twenty years have passed since a Minneapolis woman went missing and was later found dead on New Years’ day. And still, the murder of Anne Dunlap remains unsolved.

The 31-year-old Pillsbury executive was found in the trunk of her car at a south Minneapolis Kmart parking lot. Two decades later, Anne’s parents still wait for answers.

Donn and Louise Barber wrestle with the fact their daughter’s killer has not been found.

“It gets a lot better but you never really get over it,” Donn Barber said.

Anne Dunlap was a vibrant young woman, an avid runner who had just earned a promotion at Pillsbury. She went shopping on December 30th, and never returned home. WCCO spoke with her husband Brad Dunlap at the time.

“We were supposed to meet around 4:30 p.m. to run an errand and go out to dinner that night. She never showed up,” Brad Dunlap said on Jan. 1, 1996.

Police found Anne’s car in a Kmart parking lot 2 days later, her keys still in the ignition. Her body was in the trunk. The 31-year-old had been stabbed multiple times around the head and neck.

“I still wake up in the night dreaming, not dreaming, thinking of what happened and how she felt at that horrible time,” Louise Barber said.

Almost immediately Brad became a suspect. The Barbers have stood behind their son-in-law since day one, and they’d like to see him exonerated. The couple was living with them while building their dream home and trying for a family.

“He was more broken up than we were even,” Donn Barber said.

“And I consider it a double whammy. We lost Anne and we ended up losing Brad, in a sense that he had to leave,” Louise Barber said.

The Barbers will never give up hope that advances in DNA will provide answers or that somebody with information will come forward.

“If they know anything to say something. There must be somebody out there that knows what happened,” Louise Barber said.

Each year, the Barber’s award two female students at the U of M’s Carlson School of Management with a scholarship in Anne’s name.

No arrest has ever been made in her case. Anyone with information should contact police. You can also call crime stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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