St. Cloud - September 2nd, 1974 – Susanne and Mary Reker went missing; they were found 26 days later murdered in Quarry Park

It was Labor Day in 1974 when Susanne and Mary Reker walked to a local store. Mary, 15 years old, and her 12 years old sister Susanne were doing some back-to-school shopping on a Monday afternoon. They were last seen at the store at 1:30 pm.

When they didn’t come home for dinner, their nervous parents, Fred and Rita, called the police. Though the concerned parents knew right away that something was terribly wrong, it seemed more likely to the police that the girls were runaways. St. Cloud wasn’t the type of place where girls were abducted and murdered. But, as the days passed and there was no sign of the girls, concern and anxiety mounted.


26 days later, on September 28th, 1974, two teenagers discovered the decomposing body of 12 year old Susanne in the tall grasses on the edge of a rock quarry at the outskirts of town. She had been stabbed 12 or 13 times. Her sister, 15 year old Mary, was found thrown over the side of the quarry, 40 feet below the surface of the water. She had been stabbed 5 or 6 times, and her clothes had been thrown into the quarry after her.


Today, police still don’t know who murdered these two girls. They believe the killer or killers may be from the local area. The case has never been closed, but it has seen resurgences in attention several times in the past decades.

In the last page of Mary’s diary, which was found after her death in a box in her closet, she wrote: “Should I die now, I ask that my stuffed animals be given to Leah and if I am murdered, see that justice wins over. I have a few reasons to fear for my life. What I ask is important.”

Will there ever be justice for these two young girls?

There is up to a $50,000 reward offered for any information on these murders. Contact the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office at 320-251-4240 with any information.

Thanks to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History” on WJON.