PoCo Sheriff Announces Victim ID in Cold Case
By Brandi Makuski
Authorities from the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office say they’ve confirmed the identity of human remains uncovered in Amherst almost 20 years ago.
The remains belong to Susan M. Glaser, a 36-year-old woman from West Allis who went missing in July of 1995.
Chief Deputy Dan Kontos said the remains were found on May 11, 1998 by a caller in Amherst.
“We get calls all the time from someone believing they found human bones, and usually it turns out to be animal remains,” Kontos said. “But in this case the bones were obviously human.”
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, the remains consisted of two lumbar vertebrae and a pelvis. Numerous items of clothing were also found near the remains.
Kontos said Glaser’s pelvis had been disarticulated — meaning separated at the joint — and based on the remains recovered it was not possible to determine how or where she died.
The remains were located near the Tomorrow River in an area which used to be a wayside just off Hwy. 10, according to Kontos.
The remains were submitted for DNA testing, Sheriff Mike Lukas said, but with no matching profile the case went cold until 2014, when the DNA profile from the remains were requested by investigators in Ramsey Co., Minn., who believed a missing person’s case there could be a match.
“DNA testing has become better over the years,” Lukas said. “When they tested the remains this time around, they were finally able to identify the victim.”
Glaser’s identity was confirmed in July of 2014, but those details were kept private at the request of the West Allis Police Dept. so investigators could follow-up on new leads “without any potential suspects finding out about the recent investigation”, according to a news release from Lukas’ office.
Lukas said his office is working the investigation with authorities in West Allis, but so far have been unable to find any connection between Glaser and Portage County.
“To our knowledge she had no family or friends here, so outside of being found here, we can’t tie her to the area,” Kontos said.
No suspects are in custody at this time. Anyone with information about Glaser’s disappearance is asked to contact Det. Vanderwerf of the West Allis Police Dept. at (414) 476-2274. Callers can also provide information to the Portage Co. Crime Stoppers hotline at (888) 346-6600.
*This story is ongoing.