Authorities Offer $50K Reward in 19-Year-Old Cold Case Murder of Woman

Jessica Anthony

Authorities are increasing their efforts to solve the cold case murder investigation of a woman who disappeared 19 years ago and have upped the reward to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for her death.

19 years ago: Minnesota woman disappears

On the night of February 27, 2001, Rachel Anthony ended working her shift at Ultimate Liquors in Pine River, Minnesota. It was a bitterly cold night. In anticipation of the drive home, Rachel went outside and started her car to let it warm up.

But just after midnight, a police officer patrolling the area spotted the car sitting outside the liquor store idling. Checking the premises, the officer found the back door of the liquor store unlocked. Inside the store, the officer found Rachel’s purse and coat still there – but there was no sign of the woman.

Investigation into woman’s disappearance begins

Upon the discovery of the missing woman, law enforcement began an immediate investigation. They took a look at individuals who were traveling along Highway 371 on that night.

They pored over liquor store receipts from the night Rachel disappeared, making note of what type of alcohol was purchased. Through the investigation, law enforcement received cooperation from everyone who made purchases from the liquor store during Rachel’s shift and all were eliminated as suspects.

However, there was one outstanding clue. The last purchase that Rachel had rung up occurred at 9:56 PM, but the transaction had not been completed.

The investigation widened, with authorities launching extensive searches in the Pine River and surrounding areas on land and by air. Still, no signs of Rachel Anthony turned up.

Six weeks later: the body discovered

Six weeks after Rachel Anthony disappeared, the search for her remained ongoing.

On April 14, 2001, four teenagers were riding by horseback in a ravine that was infrequently traveled. It was on this road, located near Breezy point, which was roughly 15 miles away from Pine River that the teens spotted a body.

The deceased individual was identified as Rachel Anthony, and the coroner determined that she had died of asphyxiation due to homicidal violence.

Investigators still trying to crack the cold case

In the years that followed the discovery of Rachel Anthony’s body, investigators followed every lead that opened and ruled out additional potential suspects that arose.

Law enforcement authorities say they still get leads from time to time, some that tie back to previous leads, and that sometimes the smallest, most minute thing or detail could make a difference.

But as it stands today, they still don’t have the answers to who abducted and murdered an innocent woman. The cold case investigation remains open for both the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

What concerns law enforcement the most is the fact that time isn’t on their side. It’s already been 19 years and things happen. People age, people die, memory becomes foggy.

Reward increased to $50,000

Spotlight on Crime is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction whoever is responsible for the abduction and death of Rachel Anthony.

Authorities are urging anyone with any information to call the BCA tip line at 877-996-6222 or the Cass County Sheriff’s Office 218-547-1424 or 800-450-2677, or to send an email tip to bcatips@state.mn.us.