BREAKING NEWS: Hayfield woman identified nearly 50 years later
A Dodge County woman missing for nearly a half century has been identified through DNA testing.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension announced that the remains of Gloria Rieken of Hayfield were found in a rural Minnesota home. She disappeared in November 1970 when she was 18 years old.
Police said Rieken was last seen leaving her apartment in Minneapolis on her way to class at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.
Mille Lacs County Sheriff Don Lorge said the case originally began as a report of a fire at an abandoned home near Milaca. Because the home was abandoned and the blaze was not threatening to spread anywhere, the fire department did not respond at the time.
Lorge said a neighbor looking through the debris later discovered what appeared to be human remains. At the time, investigators could only tell they belonged to a young woman who did not die in the fire.
The sheriff was assigned the case as an investigator two years ago and requested exhumation of the remains in August 2018—in hopes of discovering some DNA. It proved to be a success.
“It’s not the news the family wanted; however, it does give the family answers to they can finally bring Gloria home,” said BCA superintendent Drew Evans.
Rieken is the daughter of Peter and Fredrika Rieken.
Her brother, Richard, and other family members appeared at a news conference at the BCA Headquarters in St. Paul Wednesday.
The public is encouraged to come forward with information about Rieken's disappearance,citing that even the smallest detail could help.
Anyone with information about Gloria Rieken is encouraged to contact the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office at 320-983-8250, or the BCA at 651-793-7000, 877-996-6222, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can be anonymous.