“I don’t really like the name ‘cold case’ as I think it implies we have pushed it off to the side and as law enforcement, we never give up, we never quit searching for the answers,” said Polk County Sheriff Brent Waak during a press conference last week regarding the 2009 disappearance of Rose Marie Bly.
Last week marked 10 years since the disappearance of Bly who was a 21-year-old mother of two. August 21, 2009, Bly left her residence in rural St. Croix Falls destine for Cushing, a six mile drive to the east and she has never been seen since. Later her 2001 Pontiac Grand Am was unexplainably found in Grantsburg.
Grantsburg Police found her car in the municipal lot west of the Post Office in downtown Grantsburg. A few weeks after the car was found the village had Memory Lake drained. It is approximately a five minute walk from where Bly’s car was found to the lake.
“We wanted to eliminate the possibility of her being in the lake,” former Grantsburg Chief of Police Jeff Schinzing told the Sentinel in 2009.
“There has been extensive searching. There has been a lot of effort to find Rose. It is always in the back of every officer’s mind, ‘Where is Rose Bly?’ because this mystery is solvable,” said Waak who was a Polk County Patrol Sargent when Bly went missing.
“Her mother has not seen her in 10 years. Our community wants these questions answered. Since 2009 we have handled over 200 tips on this case and we have interviewed over 150 people.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s department has decided to focus on technology to push Bly’s case out into the open. Waak said, “We really feel our strongest chance to bring closure to this, is to reach out to the public. We need someone to come forward with that critical piece of information.”
The department has produced a video they have shared with the media and posted to their Facebook page. “Our hope is that we can stimulate some talk in the social media avenue as well as just get our message out to the community that we are still looking for answers in the mystery of the disappearance of Rose Marie Bly,” said Waak.
With changes in social media during the 10 years since Bly’s disappearance the department is hopeful the way technology has evolved will provide a farther reach by stimulating conversation. Waak said, “We are a connected society now. We want people to share the video, share the story and start talking again about this.”
During the just under five minute video, Bly’s mother Candus Harer, shares the pain she has experienced during the past decade. “It’s horrible. It’s hard to deal with. My life will never be normal without knowing where my daughter is. With a missing child there is a hole in your heart that cannot be filled,” said Harer.
“We really want to show people that our community is hurting with the loss of Rose Bly. We have a family that is hurting from the loss of Rose Marie Bly. We want to put conclusion to this case. We are hoping by releasing this video we can gain some more information. Somebody out there knows something and they can come forward and help us bring this mystery to a close,” said Waak.
Included as part of the video, an age-enhanced photo has been released. “If Rose is out there, we believe this is what she could look like. Our hope is Rose Bly could come home and knock on the door and say, ‘Mom I’m home.’ We have looked at a lot of angles on this. Our focus at this time is to shift and try something new. Somebody knows where she was going, what happened and where she is,” said Waak.
Making a final plea towards the video’s end, Harer expressed tears are constant when struggling with not knowing what happened to her youngest daughter. She said, “Rosie if you’re out there, I still have the same number.”
If you have any information on the disappearance or whereabouts of Rose Marie Bly, please contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office tip line at 715-485-8300.