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How do two people vanish? What blanked news of missing couple Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson

How do two people just disappear? How does that happen and not trigger a massive manhunt, blanket TV coverage, cable news coverage and some sort of Netflix documentary show? In the case of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson, it was about who they were. Or perhaps more so – who they weren’t.

Wishek, N.D (Katie Pinke/Agweek)
Wishek, N.D. Katie Pinke / Forum News Service
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Listen to Episode 7 — How Two People Vanish

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How do two people just disappear? How does that happen and not trigger a massive manhunt, blanket TV coverage, cable news coverage and some sort of Netflix documentary show?

In the case of Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson, it was about who they were. Or perhaps more so – who they weren’t.

Welcome to Dakota Spotlight - Season 6, Episode 7: How Two People Vanish.

In this episode, co-producers James Wolner and Jeremy Fugleberg continue their investigation into the 1993 unsolved disappearance of Minnesota residents Kristin Diede and Bob Anderson on a road trip to Wishek, North Dakota.

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They’ll take a close look at all the fault lines, all the big cracks, that seemed to swallow up Kristin and Bob and the news of their disappearance, effectively squelching the hunt for them.

We do know Kristin’s friends and Bob’s family in Minnesota alerted local authorities after the two disappeared, reporting them to two different local police departments.

But it seems no local or state law enforcement in North Dakota got a similar report. Nobody there heard about Kristin and Bob going missing from the Wishek area until late 1994 - more than a year after they vanished. And in neighboring South Dakota, Bob's van had been discovered but had made into a city service vehicle. Nobody seemed to realize it was an important piece of evidence.

Meanwhile, Cylde, Kristin's estranged husband, visited Kristin's apartment building in Bloomington and while there, Kristin's friend Heather recalls she got into a confrontation with him, one that left her shaken and scared.

In March 1994 — about six months after Kristin and Bob were last seen — Clyde divorced her and got full custody of their two children, Mitchel and Deanna. Kristin, who remained missing, wasn't at the divorce hearing to contest custody, or anything else for that matter.

Clyde later moved to Winner, South Dakota, and opened a chiropractic practice there. Then in December, Bloomington police made an important phone call, one that powers the investigation to this day.

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.

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.

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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.

Photo gallery - slide to see more

People in this episode

  • Brenda: Kristin's sister, who recalled her sister enjoying cards and other games, and remembered hearing about Kristin and Bob going missing not long after returning from a trip over the weekend Kristin disappeared.
  • 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. Later, a friend of Heather claims she had a confrontation with him outside Kristin's apartment in Bloomington. In March 1994, Clyde got a divorce from Kristin and obtained full custody of their two children. Later that year he moved to Winner, South Dakota, and opened a chiropractic practice.
  • 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. Diane and her husband Mike have kept careful notes and gathered information over the years about the missing persons case.
  • 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. Heather says she had a confrontation with Clyde as he visited Kristin's apartment building after she went missing — a confrontation that left her shaken and scared.
  • Mike: Bob's brother-in-law, married to Diane. Together with his wife, Mike has kept up a detail series of notes tracking what's known — and not known — about the missing persons case of Kristin and Bob.
  • Sherri: Kristin's niece, who explained that Kristin had grown estranged from the Goebel family. She mentions that after years of uncertainty, it's hard to keep up hope Kristin is alive.
  • 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. She points out that many people often vanish with little media attention or public interest, including Indigenous and Black women, and that poverty is a factor as well, including for missing white women such as Kristin.
  • 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. She later reported them missing to Bloomington police and felt blown off.

People in previous episodes

  • Betty: Kristin's mother, now deceased, who told James the family had no photos of Kristin.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dean: Bob's brother, and the last Anderson family members to see him alive. He recalled a happy family, and a childhood growing up on a hobby farm.
  • Debra: Bob's sister, who recalled how he was quiet and supportive, and how much she looked up to her big brother.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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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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