Family of Stillwater woman missing for 30 years won't give up hope

Susan Swedell has been missing for more than 30 years, but her family has never given up hope her disappearance will be solved.

They want to make sure people know her story no matter how many years have gone by.

Sunday, Swedell’s family will hold a walk in Stillwater. They will have t-shirts and buttons with Susan’s picture and they are hoping the event keeps people talking about the 31-year-old case.

For friends and family of Swedell, she will always be 19.

“She was my rock, so for her to disappear for her to be missing, for her to be considered a runaway doesn’t make any sense,” said Christine Swedell, Susan’s sister.

Susan went missing during a blizzard Jan. 19, 1988. She was heading home from work and stopped at a gas station in Lake Elmo about a mile from home. She had some car trouble and got into a vehicle with an unknown man. Her sister Christine says it’s likely that, at one point, her sister was just blocks away from home.

“They went west on Stillwater Boulevard, which means they were heading towards our house,” she said.

Since then, nobody has heard or seen Susan, but her family has never given up their search for her.

“Somebody just needs to come forward and I just again said that if even it’s a little piece it could be the piece,” Christine said.

The support of friends and the public has helped the family and now they’re coming together again. For the second year, the Swedells are organizing a walk for Susan.

Christine says it’s a way to remember her “sweet and sassy” sister and to keep the community talking about her case.

“On the outside it looks like there’s no hope,” Christine said. “31 years later, but inside you just have that hope it’s always there.”

They aren’t giving up that hope of seeing her again one day.

“I know her better than anyone else and if she’s out there, I’m always here for her,” Christine said.

The walk will be at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Tilted Tiki in downtown Stillwater. It will go on rain or shine. Music will follow the event.