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Body found in Wyoming 31 years ago identified as missing Minnesota woman

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – A woman found dead in a Wyoming gravel pit in 1983 has been identified as Mary Lynn Anderson, a Frazee, Minn., native who family members reported missing in 1986.

Anderson was 23 at the time of her disappearance in 1982 after moving to Gillette, Wyo. Becker County Chief Deputy John Sieling said family members waited four years before filing a missing persons report with the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in western Minnesota.

By that time, Anderson had already been found dead in a gravel pit between Sheridan and Gillette in northeast Wyoming,

Because the missing person report was filed after Anderson’s death, a connection was not made.

Anderson was married and had a daughter who she left with her parents before moving to Wyoming, according to the Doe Network, an organization devoted to missing persons. When family members did not hear from Anderson for over a year, they found out from her husband that she was missing, the Doe Network’s website stated.

Family members provided DNA samples to the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in 2008.

Chances that Anderson’s case would be resolved were slim until a month ago, when an independent investigator working for a Canadian agency that specializes in missing persons connected the body found in Wyoming to the missing Frazee woman, Sieling said.

The investigator contacted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with the tip, and Sieling worked with Wyoming’s Division of Criminal Investigation to test DNA samples for a possible match.

Two weeks ago, tests came back positive for a match and the family was informed that Anderson and the woman found dead in Wyoming were the same, Sieling said.

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