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Clues in Diede-Anderson case found 100 miles away in South Dakota, investigators tell family members

Family members sought to learn what authorities knew about what happened to Bob Anderson and his girlfriend Kristin Diede on a road trip to Wishek, North Dakota in 1993. Law enforcement had a lot to tell the family, including a startling detail about clues from a South Dakota town 100 miles away from Wishek in the days after Kristin and Bob disappeared.

Bob Anderson's 1979 Dodge Van
Bob Anderson's 1979 Dodge B200 van is being held as evidence in Logan County, North Dakota. It was reported abandoned without license plates in Aberdeen, South Dakota, five days after Kristin and Bob were last seen in Wishek, North Dakota -- about 100 miles away. The VIN (vehicle identification number) had been filed off the vehicle.
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Listen to Episode 6 — Follow the Van

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NAPOLEON, N.D. — For Bob Anderson's family members, this was a big day.

They had traveled to Napoleon, the county seat of Logan County, North Dakota, to speak with members of law enforcement, that day in September 2015. Bob had been missing for 22 years, and now there might be some answers.

Their quest: to find out what the authorities had learned about what happened to Anderson and his girlfriend Kristin Diede on a road trip to Wishek, North Dakota nearly 22 year ago.

Law enforcement had a lot to tell the family, including a startling detail about who stayed in a town 100 miles away from Wishek in the days after Kristin and Bob disappeared.

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Photo gallery — swipe for more photos

The disappearance of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson is the focus of the latest season of Dakota Spotlight, an investigative true crime podcast from Forum Communications: "Vanishing Act: The Untold Story of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson."

The podcast's live investigation into this missing-persons case spanned North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and elsewhere.

In the latest episode of Dakota Spotlight, the podcast digs into what happened in the days immediately after Kristin and Bob were last seen, specifically to Bob's van, in which the couple drove to Wishek North Dakota, where they were last seen. The podcast also leaps ahead to 2015 for a crucial meeting between Bob's family and law enforcement, to discuss the missing persons case.

Inside Episode 6: 'Follow the Van'

Then a blogger, future Dakota Spotlight podcast creator James Wolner had befriended Bob's family and was nearby in a diner in Napoleon that day in September 2015, waiting to hear what the family members learned from law enforcement about the case.

When the family member crossed the street to the diner, they had big news for James about something that had taken place in Aberdeen, about 100 miles away from Wishek.

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Aberdeen was where, just a few days after Kristin and Bob disappeared, police got a report about an abandoned van left in a parking lot. It was Bob's van, the one he and Kristin drove to North Dakota — a potentially crucial piece of evidence.

The family members also had another big piece of information they had learned from authorities: Clyde, Kristin's husband, had stayed at a hotel in Aberdeen, just before the van was found. And the location of the hotel could be significant.

People in this episode

  • Chase: Son of Bob Anderson. Chase had long been told his dad had abandoned him, and had lived a troubled life with addiction and prison time. He later found out his dad actually hadn't abandoned him, but had instead vanished in 1993 and authorities believed he had been murdered.
  • Clyde: Kristin's estranged husband. They married in 1983 and had two kids together, Mitchel and Deanna. He was convicted of 5th-degree domestic assault against Kristin, and issued a no-contact order for her, in May 1993, three months before she vanished. Law enforcement told family members in 2015 that Clyde had stayed in a hotel in Aberdeen, South Dakota — just about 100 miles away from Wishek — just after Kristin and Bob disappeared and shortly before Bob's van was found abandoned just a few blocks away. Clyde denied to Dakota Spotlight he had done so.
  • Dean: Bob's brother, and the last Anderson family member known to have seen him alive. He recalled a happy family, and a childhood growing up on a hobby farm.
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  • Diane: Bob's sister, who shared numerous memories of her brother, and their family — including a father who promoted education and told her she could do what she aspired to do in life. She has worked hard to keep track of all the known details about the investigation into Kristin and Bob's disappearance.
  • Erin: A colleague of James and Jeremy, Erin worked in Aberdeen, South Dakota, including at The Flame diner/bar and the Ward Hotel in 1993, and recalls what that area of town was like at the time. Bob's van, stripped of its license plates and VIN, was discovered just across the street from The Flame and authorities later told family members Clyde, Kristin's husband, had stayed at the Ward Hotel near the day the abandoned van was reported to police.
  • Larry: Kristin's brother, who was in Wishek the weekend Kristin and Bob disappeared and remembers her as happy person but one who didn't talk much about her problems.
  • Mike: Bob's brother-in-law (married to Diane), who along with his wife has carefully tracked and stored details about Kristin and Bob's case, including those learned from law enforcement with their case file.
  • Tiffany: A neighbor of Kristin Diede in Bloomington, Minnesota. She and friend Heather befriended Kristin. Tiffany was the last person Kristin was known to have called before vanishing with her boyfriend, Bob.
  • Wes: Retired trooper of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, stationed in Wishek, North Dakota, on Aug. 15, 1993. Kristin and Bob visited Wes on that day, the day they disappeared, to ask about legal issues regarding Kristin, Clyde and their children before leaving for the Diede farm.

People in previous episodes

  • Betty: Kristin's mother, now deceased, who told James the family had no photos of Kristin.
  • Brenda: Kristin's sister, who recalled her sister enjoying cards and other games.
  • Dan: Dan was a reporter at WCCO television in Minneapolis in 1995. He flew to Wishek, North Dakota, to pursue the missing persons case, was met with hostility from the Diede family and believes he was followed around town and back to the town's airstrip. He remains haunted by the experience.
  • Debra: Bob's sister, who recalled how he was quiet and supportive, and how much she looked up to her big brother.
  • Heather: A neighbor of Kristin in Bloomington, Minnesota. She and a friend, Tiffany, befriended Kristin, helped coax her out of her shell after her marriage to Clyde had collapsed, and were the first to report her missing to law enforcement.
  • Molly: An advocate at Cornerstone, a domestic violence shelter and advocacy program in Bloomington, Minnesota. Molly became Kristin's case worker and helped her navigate her relationship with her estranged husband Cylde, including her pursuit of a domestic assault charge against him.
  • Sandra: Kristin's sister. Sandra saw Kristin and spoke with her at their brother Larry's place before Sandra and other members of Kristin's immediate family left for a trip to Idaho on Saturday, Aug. 14, 1993 — the day before Kristin vanished.
  • Sherri: Kristin's niece, who explained that Kristin had grown estranged from the Goebel family.
  • Susan: Former executive director of Cornerstone, a domestic violence shelter in Minnesota, where Kristin sought help. Susan has been a steadfast advocate for Kristin's case.
  • Travis: Nephew of Kristin. He has made it his mission to better understand what might have happened to his aunt and her boyfriend in 1993.

About Dakota Spotlight, Season Six: 'Vanishing Act: The Untold Story of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson'

In this season of Dakota Spotlight, the podcast tackles a live, multi-part investigation that spans multiple states including Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, in which host James Wolner and co-producer Jeremy Fugleberg try to figure out what happened to Kristin Anderson and Bob Anderson, who vanished in North Dakota on Aug. 15, 1993.

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Police are tight-lipped about the case, but the duo works with Kristin and Bob's family members, friends and allies to untangle why they went to North Dakota, what exactly took place on Aug. 15, 1993 — the last day they were seen and why the couple has never been found.

The investigation reveals the painful holes ripped through people's lives when their loved ones disappear without a trace. The mystery of Diede and Anderson's disappearance continues to haunt many whose lives they touched.

Related Topics: DAKOTA SPOTLIGHTTRUE CRIME
James Wolner is a Digital Content Producer at Forum Communications Company, Fargo North Dakota and the creator, producer and host of Dakota Spotlight, a true crime podcast. He has lived the Upper Midwest since 2013 and studied photojournalism at California State University at Fresno. He is fluent in English and Swedish.
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