It's been nearly 30 years since 20-year-old Jeanette Baneck disappeared while walking home from the North Central Health Care in Wausau in late February in 1983. There were few clues and little evidence surrounding Jeanette’s disappearance. Then, in early November Jeanette's skeletal remains were found by a hunter in a wooded area south of Highway 29 in Weston, less than two miles from her home. She was still wearing the blue snowmobile suit she left work in.
Investigators determined she had been stabbed 11 times. Captain Mark Hull from the Everest Metro Police Department says the violence behind her death could indicate a crime of passion.
Captain Hull has spent hundreds of hours reviewing every file from the original investigators who have all since moved on. Just in the last couple of years, new leads and new technology have narrowed the search. Old evidence is being reexamined by labs that are much different and more advanced than they were 29 years ago. "By no means is it a closed case. We’re still actively working on this case”, he says.
Investigators hoped for a new lead after recently submitting knives owned by a man accused of assaulting a woman near Jeanette’s work in 1983. The knives resembled a possible murder weapon; however, DNA tested did not come back as a match. The man who the knives belonged to has since died.
It’s also the disadvantage detectives face while investigating a cold case, as witnesses age and potential suspects pass away.
It’s also a heart breaking situation for Jeanette’s parents. “You sit there and look at the [Jeanette’s] picture and think what would she had been. What kind of family would she have had? And how her life would have been."
If you have any information about this case you’re asked to call the Everest Metro Police Department (715) 359-4202.