Mary Lynn Andersen, age 23, was last seen in Gillette, Wyoming sometime in 1982.


Mary Lynn left her Minnesota family home as a young adult, and was known to have lived in California, Oregon, and Iowa.  While in Iowa, she met and married Herb Shondel, and they had a baby girl.

Their marriage was troubled, and Mary Lynn suffered from epilepsy, therefore, Mary Lynn turned parental rights over to her parents, who raised the little girl.

Although Mary Lynn traveled frequently, she had always kept in contact with her family.

Mary and her husband divorced in Hennepin County, MN in October 1981.

Mary was last seen by family friends, who saw and spoke with her in Gillette, Wyoming, sometime in 1982.   She appeared to be doing well.

Since her contact with family was sporadic, she wasn’t reported missing until a couple years later, at which time it wasn’t taken seriously due to her lifestyle.

Her family later learned that Mary had never been entered in the national databases.

Although information about her time in Gillette Wyoming, a town of 20,000 people, is scarce, I think more could be obtained.

Once, while searching for information about her case, I found a craigslist ad from her family, a plea for any information.   The ad referred to letters that had been sent by Mary, which implies that a return address would be available.   In addition, the news articles do not say whether or not the family friend who saw Mary in Gillette, saw where she was living.

An address could be a huge lead toward locating people who knew her around the time she was last seen.  (The owner of the property, neighbors, etc)

Based on the newspaper articles, Mary’s family seemed to suspect that Herb Shondel may have known something about Mary’s fate.  He always maintained that she just disappeared, and he did not know where she was, even as he succumbed to emphysema in 2004.

Considering that Herb and Mary were divorced in Minnesota in 1981, I wonder if there is any indication that Herb was ever in Gillette, Wyoming with Mary.

Mary’s daughter had a glimmer of hope, a while back, when a convenience store clerk near her home told her that a disoriented woman had come into the store, looking for someone.  She could not remember the person’s name, but knew the person lived in the area.  She appeared to have amnesia.

Mary’s family is now considering the possibility that an epileptic seizure could have caused a head trauma that resulted in amnesia.

I also wonder if her SSN has been run to see when the last activity was.

I’ve searched the Unclaimed Property database in Wyoming, hoping to find something with an address, but found nothing.

My gut tells me that Mary wouldn’t have been living alone in Gillette.  Someone who lived in Gillette, Wyoming in 1982 knew Mary and could shed some light on what was going on with her around the time she went missing.   Did she say she was leaving?  Or where she was going?  Was she happy or depressed?  Did she have a job?  A boyfriend?  WHEN in 1982 did they last see her?

I do hope someone will come forward.   Mary’s family needs answers.



Charley Project

Detroit Lakes Online

3 thoughts on “Mary Lynn Andersen – Found Deceased

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s