EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was first published in July 2007. It re-posted to our website due to a glitch in our content management system.
Anita Carlson was murdered 20 years ago - and police still don't know who did it.
Carlson, 22, was working the late shift at Pete's Place West on U.S. Highway 2 west of Bemidji on June 30, 1987. Customers reported last seeing Carlson around 11 p.m. that night.
The next day, the morning manager discovered the store in disarray and Carlson's car still parked behind the store. Six days later, on July 5, her body was found in a remote section of woods off State Highway 89 a few miles from the convenience store. She had been brutally raped and murdered; her parents never saw the body. Anita Carlson had recently graduated with honors from Bemidji State University with a degree in mass communications.
She planned to pursue a career in broadcasting. She had a boyfriend her parents expected her to marry. In 2002, Anita's parents, Merlin and Judy Carlson, told the Bemidji Pioneer that the discovery of her body did give them a sense of "closure," adding that many parents never find out what happened to their missing children.
Merlin and Judy Carlson said then that they had adjusted to life without Anita as best they could. They tried to use their grief for good, counseling other parents who lost children and other family members who suffered loss in tragic circumstances. Their greatest consolation came through their Christian faith, their strong belief that they will again see Anita in heaven. A $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information that leads to an arrest. The reward is offered through Spotlight on Crime.
More information about the organization is online at www.spotlightoncrime.org.
Anyone with information about the Anita Carlson murder is asked to contact the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office at 333-9111 or the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at 651-793-7000.