Anonymous Letter May Hold the Key to 30-Year old Murder Case


"The day we got the phone call, my father and I just came back from hunting and we got the bad news," says Nancy Raasch.

It's 30-years later and Nancy still vividly recalls getting that bad news about her sister, Janet. The 20-year-old Merrill woman was a business major at UW Stevens Point.

Nancy says, "she was a vibrant young college girl, we grew up on a farm. We worked hard and we played hard."

Janet vanished in October, 1984. Her remains were found near the intersection of Highway 54 and County J outside of Plover by hunters a month later.

Portage County Detective Josh Ostrowski says even though it's still unsolved 3-decades later, it's not cold. He also says there were numerous persons of interest in 1984 and there still are today. He won't say if those POIs are suspects or how Raasch died.

Her body was dug up nearly 10-years ago to allow forensic scientists to perform more tests. A newspaper article on the case last year also stirred up a possible new lead.

After it ran, someone wrote an anonymous letter to the sheriff's department. Investigators would like to talk to the letter's author to see if he or she may have more information.

"I'd be optimistic that if we could do follow up questioning with that person that it may progress the investigation even further," says Ostrowski.

Nancy Raasch has a constant reminder of the sister she lost so young, not that she would need it. Her daughter Brittany looks and acts almost exactly like Janet. But it's her father she worries about the most.

"My father needs to know, he's lived with this way too long."

If you're that letter's author or have any information about this case, please call the Portage County Crime Stoppers Hotline. The number is 1 (888) 346-6600.

Or you can call the sheriff's department directly at (715) 346-1400. Ask for Detective Josh Ostrowski.


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