Victim ID'd in Wyoming 1980s cold-case slaying was from Minnesota

  • Associated Press
  • July 10, 2014 - 10:42 AM

GILLETTE, Wyo. — A homicide victim found in northern Wyoming nearly 31 years ago has been identified as Mary Lynn Andersen, a Gillette resident who had moved to the city from Minnesota.

Andersen, 23, was identified using genetic data from her family, the Campbell County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.

Andersen's body was found Aug. 10, 1983, the Gillette News-Record reported (

She had been buried in a shallow grave in a gravel pit about 13 miles north of Gillette. A worker operating a bulldozer uncovered clothing that led to her remains.

Her skull and teeth were missing. Authorities said at the time the remains might have been damaged and scattered during a road repair project.

Authorities ruled the death a homicide because they found evidence of trauma. Details of her injuries haven't been released.

Investigators said she was married to Herb Shondel, who died in 2002. She also had a daughter, who is now 34. The daughter's name and hometown weren't immediately released.

Sheriff's investigators said in 1983 they believe Andersen was killed after Oct. 18, 1982, because records showed she had been hospitalized at that time. No record of her exists after that.

Investigators said she might have moved to Gillette as early as May 1982 and might have been married to Shondel at the time.

She was reported missing in 1986 by relatives who had not heard from her for several years, investigators said.

Andersen was identified with the help of the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The center used genetic data from her remains and from Andersen's parents, sister and daughter.

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