Search Efforts Pick Up For Missing Sioux Falls Woman Ellabeth Lodermeier

SIOUX FALLS, S.D – Search efforts picked up today for a Sioux Falls woman at the center of a cold case.

Ellabeth Lodermeier was reported missing in 1974 after she did not show up for work at the community services office. Police say she vanished with no word to friends or family.

Lodermeier went missing in 1974. Yet in 2019, almost half a century later, a dog search is going on near Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum. It was there in 1992 where her purse and wallet were found.

“In 1992 they did a ground search, obviously technology’s changed, there’s different resources now that they had 27 years ago, so just taking a new look at it,” says Sioux Falls Police detective Pat Mertes.

Mertes has been on this case since 2015, and he thinks the search through 6 acres of wooded area is necessary.

“We could get some investigative leads today to help bring closure and help find Ellabeth,” says Jim Peters from Samaritan Detection Dogs.

Lodermeier’s family contacted Samaritan Detection Dogs personally, but with the passing time comes more obstacles.

“The greater challenge would be predication just from carnivores wondering through the area over the years. Early on any bone fragments would have been attractive to them,” says Peters.

After more than 40 years, the dogs may have trouble catching a trace.

Still, there’s hope.

“If we can’t find a salvageable suspect, then we can help bring closure by, by finding any remnants of the missing person,” says Peters.

“You never want to get your hopes up to much, but definitely hope for the best for the family, you know bring closure for them,” says Mertes.

Hoping for progress in a case that’s had about 20 leads in the past 2 to 3 years.

Anyone with information on Ellabeth Lodermeier is urged to call police or crime stoppers.

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