The cold case murder of Rachel Anthony - Pine River, Minnesota - February 27, 2001

On the frigid night of February 27, 2001, a patrolling police officer in Pine River, Minnesota made a puzzling discovery around 1:30 a.m. when he found an abandoned idling Ford Escort in a parking lot in downtown Pine View. Because he had already seen the car with the engine running around 10 p.m., he decided to investigate. It led him to the Ultimate Liquors store, which normally closes at 10 p.m. The back door of the store turned out to be open and the officer went inside. Inside he found a bunch of keys, a wallet and a coat. It soon turned out that the employee who was supposed to close the store had disappeared without a trace.

It concerned 50-year-old Rachel Anthony. She worked the night shift on her own that night. The police feared that the woman had been kidnapped.

Police Investigation
That night, the police and two of Rachel's daughters pulled out all the stops to find her. Because there was so much snow, snowmobiles and horses were used. The search turned up no leads. 

To find out what happened to Rachel, detectives did extensive research in the store. According to them, traces indicated that Rachel was taking out the garbage, and ran into someone there. But they weren't sure. The killer could also have been a customer, but there was no evidence for the theory. No goods were stolen, and no money was missing from the cash register. Police found no signs of a struggle inside or outside the store, nor did they find tire tracks in the parking lot because of the ice. Much to the team's frustration, the store turned out not to be using its security cameras that night, even though they were there.

In the days following her disappearance, police conducted background checks and spoke to numerous people close to Rachel, including her resident daughter, Jennifer. Her ex-husband from Princeton was also heard. None of these people turned out to be suspects and were cleared.

The police checked receipts from the store and spoke to as many customers as possible who had bought something from Rachel on the day in question. All these people cooperated. However, one purchase caught the eye of the detectives, and that was the one at 9:56 p.m. The transaction, according to our information, involved a bottle of Mickey's Malt Liquor and Kool cigarettes.This customer was never identified and, according to the police, may have been involved in the disappearance.

Meanwhile, every effort was made to find Rachel everywhere. Whole areas were searched on foot while a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter with infrared technology searched from above. Detectives knocked on dozens of people's doors in the middle of the night to ask if they had seen anything suspicious. All without result.

Rachel was murdered
The search ended on April 13, 2001, when four teenagers on horseback found her body in a ditch near Breezy Point and Nelson Road. Rachel Anthony had been the victim of a crime, was the conclusion. Her cause of death was determined to be due to strangulation.

The police and FBI tried to sketch a perpetrator profile based on the location of the body. They suspected that the killer must have been someone from the area. Because although the locals used Nelson Road to avoid the provincial highways, it was not a road that many people from out of town knew. With a population of only about 1000 inhabitants, the potential pool of perpetrators was not large in that case. Yet the killer was not found and the investigation stalled.

According to the police, Rachel must have been kidnapped either with a gun or with the help of a second perpetrator. They also believe that the crime was not committed in the liquor store, nor at the location where her body was found. So there must be another crime scene, but where? Unfortunately, that is an unanswered question at the moment. In an interview with the media, the police once again emphasized that every tip is checked by them, and that after all these years they are still hoping for new information.

Tips and Information
Do you know more about the murder of Rachel Anthony? Have you ever heard anything, or do you know someone who has more information? Even the smallest detail can be an important puzzle piece. Please let us know now. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below.

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