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Hot Springs Woman Still Missing After One Month

November 4, 2011, 6:07 PM by Derek Olson

Hot Springs Woman Still Missing After One Month
HOT SPRINGS, SD - Like many small towns, Hot Springs is a place where most everybody knows each other. That's why so many people are concerned about the disappearance of one of their neighbors, 56-year-old Catherine Tornquist.

"All the people spoken to about Catherine say this is not in her character just to up and leave and disappear. It's highly irregular," Fall River County Sheriff Rich Mraz said.

The last time Tornquist was seen in a local grocery store's parking lot on October 4.  One month later, there's still no sign of her.

Tornquist was reported missing three days later on the morning of October 7.

"The searches have been ongoing. We've had several organized searches with the local fire departments and my deputies have been searching since she's been missing," Mraz said.

Still, there have been few clues about where the missing woman could be.

"We've walked all the area up around Hot Brooke Canyon, where she resides, and we're just at a dead end," Lynette Blodgett said.

Lynette Blodgett works at Dale's Cafe, where the Tornquist had breakfast most every morning and doesn't believe that she would leave without telling anybody.

"Never seemed to have a worry in the world. She was just, all together, a really nice person," Blodgett said.

That's a message echoed by Tornquist's neighbors.

"No, I think something's happened to her. I don't think she would've left that place. I really don't," neighbor Julie Smith said.

Now people just want answers, and they aren't getting any from law enforcement.

"She's got many friends in the community, many friends in the community. And everybody's just asking the same thing, 'What's going on?'" Blodgett said.

"It's just been so quiet about the whole thing, and I understand part of it, but I think they should let us know something," Smith said.

In fact, the Fall River Sheriff's department wouldn't comment on whether or not they believe foul play was involved.

"That's something that the investigation will farrow out in the end," Mraz said.

An investigation that will hopefully lead to Catherine Tornquist's safe return.

"I just wish that somebody, anybody who knew anything would give us some information, to help us find her and bring her home," Blodgett said.

Law Enforcement from across the state are investigating the disappearance.  If you have any information on the whereabouts of Catherine Tornquist, you are asked to call the Fall River County Sheriff.

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