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Sioux Falls Police looking for information on 50-year-old missing person case

Ellabeth Mae Lodermeier
Sioux Falls Police Department
Ellabeth Mae Lodermeier

Sioux Falls police are looking for information on a 50-year-old missing person case.

Ellabeth Mae Lodermeier was last seen five decades ago at her home near downtown Sioux Falls. Her estranged husband, Gene Lodermeier, reported her missing on Mar. 7, 1974.

Sioux Falls police say Gene is considered a person-of-interest in her disappearance. He passed away in 2013.

When Ellabeth did not show up to work, Gene and coworkers went to her home. Police say the house was still locked and her car was parked in the driveway. A partially eaten pizza and flour spilled on the kitchen floor were found inside the home. Her purse and jacket were missing.

In September of 1974, Ellabeth’s credit cards were found in the women’s bathroom at the Canadian National Railway in Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada. A check of that area found no evidence that Ellabeth had ever been there.

In 1992, Ellabeth’s wallet containing her checkbook and credit cards were found in a hole along the Big Sioux River.

She was last seen wearing a blue pea coat, blue shirt, and blue jeans. She was 5’ 1” tall and 105 pounds, with light brown hair and green eyes.

Ellabeth and Gene were known to travel throughout South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and southwest Minnesota.

The Sioux Falls woman's disappearance is considered suspicious in nature. Police are asking anyone with information regarding her disappearance or any unusual habits or activity Gene may have had in the past to contact Sioux Falls Police Detective Pat Mertes by phone at (605) 978-6797.

Mertes can also be reached by email at or by mail at 320 West Fourth Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

To submit an anonymous tip, contact Crime Stoppers Sioux Empire at 1-877-367-7007.

Krystal is the local host of "All Things Considered."