Family offers $20,000 reward for clues in disappearance

By CATHY LOGG

Herald Writer

Family and friends of a missing Stanwood woman continue to search for her and have offered a $20,000 reward that enables them to find her.

Sharon "Shari" Christine Anderson disappeared Dec. 2 after she left her home in Stanwood to go shopping at the Everett Mall. She expected to be home about 4 p.m. Family and friends became concerned when she failed to return.

Numerous searches, from Everett to Arlington and Snohomish, have turned up a scattering of reported sightings of a woman who fits her description, but no firm leads.

"The no leads — that is just killing us," said Louise Baxter, an Everett resident who has been friends with Anderson for 30 years. "If a credit card had been used or something … Nothing. It’s so hard because we’re just basically doing what we can to get (the word) out there. We have no direction on where to go."

Anderson’s bank account hasn’t been touched and her credit cards haven’t been used.

Yet searchers have continued each day to hunt for her from about 9 a.m. until evening. Baxter has put more than 400 miles on her car alone, she said. The searches have varied from 10 people to nearly 80 as they combed through bushes, swamps and woods all around the mall and along I-5 and moved on to walking roads, checking with businesses and knocking on doors. They have posted fliers everywhere they’ve gone, hoping someone will spot her and let them or police know where she is.

"They have done a phenomenal job of getting the word out," Everett Police Sgt. Boyd Bryant said.

As a result, police have received numerous calls, including more than 50 in one day. So far, however, none has led investigators to Anderson.

Her supporters established the Shari Anderson Fund at Washington Mutual Bank so people can donate to their efforts to bring her home.

While her disappearance is suspicious, police have no indication that Anderson has fallen victim to foul play.

"It’s still a mystery," Bryant said. "The determining factor is whether there is evidence of foul play. Police departments don’t go on feelings. You go on evidence, working with clues and leads, working with friends and family getting the word out to the community."

Anderson’s best friend, Mary Rehberg, found Anderson’s pickup parked outside Mervyn’s at the mall, about 50 feet from the door, the night she vanished. The pickup was locked and its contents seemed undisturbed. Police can’t say whether Anderson parked it there or entered the mall that day.

Those who know her describe Anderson, a state Department of Social and Health Services caseworker, as a very responsible and dependable person, not one apt to take off for a time without letting friends and family know.

"We have just been blessed by a lot of people coming out and helping us put up (the fliers)," Baxter said. "We’re trying to hold it together as best we can and keep a positive attitude that we’re going to find her and bring her home."

Police ask anyone with information about Anderson’s whereabouts to call the Everett police tip line at 425-257-8450. Snohomish County residents can report her location to 911, and anyone outside of the county can call the police general business number at 425-257-8400.

Family and friends have also launched a Web site www.geocities.com/shari_anderson_searchc.

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