Sjoberg clues sought 35 years after disappearance
By Christine Spangler
CONCORD – The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is seeking the public’s help in locating Catherine Lynne Sjoberg, who disappeared 35 years ago after leaving a post-prom party at Concord House.
Known as Cathy, Sjoberg was 17 years old when she went missing on June 5, 1974. She never has been heard from since.
At the time of her disappearance, she was described as a white female with brown hair parted in the middle, green eyes and freckles, weighing 120 pounds and being 5 foot, 5 inches tall. She had a previously broken collarbone.
She was wearing a light blue formal gown with brown and pink trim.
The public is urged to call 1-800-843-5678 (THE-LOST) with any information concerning the disappearance or Sjoberg’s current whereabouts. They also may contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at (920) 650-7300. Calls are kept confidential and may be made anonymously.
A poster showing Sjoberg as she looked then and an age-progressed photo to indicate what she might look like at age 52 may be viewed at http://www.missingkids.com.
It was about 3 a.m. on June 5, 1974, that Sjoberg walked out of the Oconomowoc High School post-prom party at Concord House after a disagreement with her boyfriend, Timothy Counsel of Oconomowoc. A girlfriend last saw her as Sjoberg was leaving the building.
Her mother, Ruth Schwartz, did not become alarmed until that Friday evening because her daughter had planned to spend the night at a friend’s house. Counsel called for Sjoberg at her home that Friday, but Mrs. Schwartz told him her daughter had not returned home and she expected her to arrive shortly because the girl was planning to attend high school graduation exercises Saturday.
On Friday night, Counsel telephoned Mrs. Schwartz to report, “Nobody can find Cathy.”
Authorities were notified; however, due to rainy, cold weather, searchers did not begin a probe of the area until Saturday. Foot and air searches of the area around Concord House were conducted, but no clues were found.
In 1980, then-former Sheriff Roger Reinel told the Daily Union that deputies searched for weeks but never found a clue. There never has been any evidence ever produced to suggest Sjoberg is dead.
Shortly after she was reported missing, reports indicated that Sjoberg had been seen in Delafield; however, they were not confirmed. Every year or so early on, the sheriff’s office would receive a tip about her whereabouts, but none panned out.
Ironically, a tip was given on Aug. 13, 1980, a few days after the disappearance of Fort Atkinson’s Timothy Hack and Kelly Drew from a wedding reception at Concord House. The tipster said Sjoberg was being married in California, but like the rest, this bit of information did not check out.
The remains of Hack and Drew, both 19, were discovered in October 1980, several months after they disappeared. Their murderer has never been found.
In 1995, Mrs. Schwartz held a memorial service for Sjoberg at a Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc.
“It’s been 21 years and I think it’s time to say goodbye,” she was quoted as saying at that time.
One Cold Case Solved, Another Remains a Mystery
By Tom Murray
Story Created: Aug 2, 2009
Story Updated: Aug 3, 2009
CONCORD – Wendy Tesch has a picture with her sister the day she disappeared. Family members took several pictures of Catherine Sjoberg on June 5, 1974. She was a junior at Oconomowoc High School and it was prom night.
“She just didn’t come home and didn’t come home,” Tesch said in her first TV interview in more than decade.
Catherine went to a prom party in the country near Sullivan. After an argument with her boyfriend, she walked away by herself from the Concord House.
The Concord House is the same banquet hall where Timothy Heck and his girlfriend Kelly Drew were last seen alive six years later.
There were no answers in either case for three decades.
Then Friday, authorities announced DNA evidence led to an arrest in the young couple’s murder. Police in Louisville, Kentucky took now 76-year-old Edward Edwards into custody.
Catherine Sjoberg’s family immediately started fielding calls from friends and relatives who thought that, perhaps, they too would find closure.
“The only hour in maybe 35 years that we had hope,” Tesch said.
That newfound hope quickly shattered. A detective who revived Catherine’s case in 2006 called to tell her mother, Ruth Schwartz, that investigators do not believe Edwards killed her oldest child.
“Even if he wasn’t involved in this, maybe somebody else might feel guilty enough to say something so I can at least bury my daughter,” Schwartz told TODAY’S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
Detectives say Edwards, a drifter and one-time handyman at Concord House, was not even in Wisconsin when Catherine went missing.
Her family has never even had remains for a funeral. They did hold a memorial service in 1995 at an Oconomowoc church.
“I know something happened to her that night,” said Schwartz. “She never would have run away.”
Anyone with information on the disappearance of Catherine Lynne Sjoberg is asked to call the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at 920-674-7300.