For nearly three years, a mystery has lingered over Staples, Minn. Residents are still wondering what happened to the 82-year-old man who seemed to just disappear, and his family is now hoping the extra resources assigned to the case could provide some answers.
The Cass County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are beefing up their investigation, and the amped-up investigation is rekindling a plea from a the family of Peter Achermann.
"We're still waiting, hoping," Delaine Achermann said.
Though three years have passed, Achermann told FOX 9 News she is still hurting and missing her husband of 57 years.
"He was always so generous and willing to help," she said.
The only piece of evidence investigators have ever found in Peter Achermann's disappearance was his vehicle, which was found on a dirt road near the woods in a secluded area. In the summer of 2009, the National Guard was called out to aid in the search.
His wife says Peter Achermann went out to run an errand on July 24, but "he just never came home."
Two days later, his station wagon was found, but there was still no trace of him -- and his wife said she has no idea why he would have been down that road.
The trail went cold, and investigators say that road simply led them to a dead end after weeks of searching. Officials say it's possible the 82-year-old who walked with a cane may not have driven the car there, and they say it would have been difficult for him to get through the thick forest.
Still, investigators say they don't believe he's in that area now. Foul play is possible, but nothing suggests it so far. When asked if it's possible that he just left, his family said they doubt it.
"He was very dedicated to his family," said Delaine Achermann. "That was his life."
Before he disappeared, Peter Achermann wrote a book about his life and family, about how he came to America from Switzerland, settled down with his wife and raised 10 children. Now, that devoted family is devastated by his disappearance.
"We're hurting," said Delaine Achermann. "We're all hurting. Tell us what happened to dad. Give him back to us."
In his book, Achermann spoke about his eventual death, saying he hoped to have his family with him and his loved ones nearby. That wish certainly cannot be fulfilled until he's found.