Sunday, July 24, 2022

Vicki Sundgaard: Missing Since April 19th, 1987

Sundgaard was last seen at a party on Cedar Street in Alexandria, Minnesota during the early morning hours of April 19, 1987, Easter Sunday. She has never been heard from again. Her vehicle was found parked a few blocks away the following morning. Sundgaard's purse and asthma inhaler were inside it. Her loved ones stated her asthma had been bothering her in the days leading up to her disappearance and they did not believe she would have left her inhaler behind. She also left behind her two young sons, which is uncharacteristic of her.
A week before her disappearance, Sundgaard told her sister she planned to leave her husband and move out of the area. The couple had two young sons and Sungaard stated he was violent, and she did not trust him around the children. Sundgaard's husband was investigated by police but is not considered a suspect in his wife's disappearance. One of the last people known to have seen her, Michael Dale Benson, was convicted of raping an Alexandria woman in 1989. He was incarcerated, and later civilly committed to a hospital for life. He escaped from the hospital in 2006 but was apprehended several weeks later. While in custody, Benson told authorities he had raped five other women in Colorado and California. He is considered a suspect in Sundgaard's case but maintains his innocence and has not been charged in connection with it. Sundgaard's disappearance remains unsolved. Her family does not believe she would have abandoned her children. Erin Klegstad, EchoPress,


Missing Since: 04/19/1987
Missing From: Alexandria, Minnesota
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: 05/15/1963 
Age: 23 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'6, 115 - 125 pounds
Medical Conditions: Sundgaard has asthma and uses an inhaler to control her condition. She did not have her inhaler with her when she vanished. In addition, her skin is sensitive to most metals, and she has problems wearing jewelry as a result.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Sundgaard had her ears pierced, but the holes may have closed by the time of her disappearance. She has a faint scar on her lip. Sundgaard has had extensive dental work, including a white cap on one of her upper front teeth. Her first name may be spelled "Vicky" by some agencies.

Escaped Sex Offender Renews Interest In Missing Woman

The family of Vicki Sundgaard had never heard of Michael Benson until he escaped from the St. Peter Security hospital. As it turns out, the level 3 sex offender may have had a direct impact on their lives. Sundgaard was just 23 years old when she disappeared from a party near Alexandria in the spring of 1987. While some suspected that she ran away from a troubled marriage and two small children, authorities were suspicious. They identified a person of interest who was at the party, a man named Michael Benson, who told several witnesses that he knew Sundgaard. "He was seen at that location the night she went missing," said Douglas County Sheriff Bill Ingebritsen. "Knowing what he had done after that certainly makes us wonder." Ingebritsen is referring to a violent rape that Benson was convicted of in 1989, and his subsequent civil commitment to the St. Peter Security Hospital.

While authorities also suspected Benson in Sundgaard's disappearance, they never told her family. Her mother-in-law
found out only after he escaped from prison. "Nineteen year later this all comes up, there's gotta be a reason for it because things happen for a reason," said Betty Sundgaard of Nelson. "If he is picked up, maybe they'll question him and there will be an answer. Maybe this will be totally settled, and we'll know." ... yid=123919

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