Cold Case: Hope persists that woman will be found

EVERETT — Mary Rehberg is always looking for what she’s lost.

Eight long years have passed and Rehberg keeps searching. She vows to never give up. She can’t.

“We will never stop. Never,” Rehberg said.

Her friend — her best friend — is missing.

Sharon Anderson, 50, disappeared Dec. 2, 2000. Rehberg found her friend’s silver Toyota 4-Runner in the parking lot of the Everett Mall. Police suspect foul play in the Lake Goodwin woman’s disappearance.

Anderson is featured on the eight of clubs in the state’s first deck of cold-case playing cards. Detectives have distributed the cards to jail and prison inmates in hopes of soliciting new leads for unsolved homicides and missing persons cases. Inmates are being offered a reward for tips that help detectives catch killers and find people who have disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

Anderson told family that she planned to go shopping. When she failed to return home that day, her family and friends began searching for her.

Police launched an investigation after her sport utility vehicle was found outside the mall.

“She would never have walked away from her kids or grandkids,” Rehberg said. “Her grandkids were the light of her life.”

Anderson’s family and friends launched an exhaustive search. They’ve handed out hundreds of fliers, spoken to psychics and brought in tracking dogs. Every time an unidentified person has been found, Rehberg calls the coroner in that county.

“We’ve searched every place we can think of,” Rehberg said. “We just want to bring her home. I think the family deserves some closure.”

Anderson has been declared legally dead, her friend said. That doesn’t mean her family or friends have given up hope of finding her, Rehberg said.

“I keep hoping I’ll turn around and I’ll bump into her,” Rehberg said. “I just want her home.”

Reporter Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463 or hefley@heraldnet.com.

About this series

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives created the state’s first deck of cold-case playing cards. Each Sunday for a year, The Herald will publish a story about a case featured on one of the cards. The 52 cards can be viewed on The Herald’s Web site.

Anyone with information about unsolved homicides or missing persons cases is asked to call 800-222-TIPS (8477). Up to a $1,000 reward is offered. Tips about Sharon Anderson’s disappearance also can be left on the Everett police tip line at 425-257-8450.

Callers may remain anonymous, although tips have been more successful when callers speak with detectives, police said.

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