- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Authorities in St. Cloud are still seeking the public’s help in solving the killings of two sisters - nearly 42 years after their bodies were found with multiple stab wounds.

Stearns County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Bruce Bechtold told WJON-AM (https://bit.ly/2atNwLJ ) that someone knows something about the deaths of Susanne and Mary Reker, and authorities still need witnesses to come forward.

The girls’ mother agrees.

“There are people out there who have never come forward that know what happened, know who did it and are not telling what they know. People who have never come forward before,” Rita Reker said.

Mary, 15, and Susanne, 12, left their house to go shopping at the nearby Zayre Discount Store on Sept. 2, 1974. They were last seen at the store at 1:30 p.m., but never made it home. Their bodies were found nearly a month later in Quarry Park, on the western outskirts of town.

Susanne was found in the tall grass, stabbed 13 times. Mary was found unclothed 40 feet below the water’s surface. She had been stabbed six times.

Authorities believe the suspect is a man who’s likely from the St. Cloud area who is still alive. Bechtold said they haven’t ruled out the possibility of an accomplice.

Bechtold said it’s possible that witnesses may have seen something but believed it wasn’t important. He’s now urging those people to come forward.

“We’d like to know what happened from the time they left the store until they were murdered: if (someone) saw certain people together . and I can’t say who those certain people would be, but we have witnesses who saw the girls at the store, we have witnesses who saw them in different places.” Bechtold said.

Mary’s diary may also contain a clue. One entry reads: “Should I die, I ask that my stuffed animals be given to (my sister) and if I am murdered, see that justice wins over. I have a few reasons to fear for my life. What I ask is important.”

Bechtold said the diary entry is part of the investigation.

“It’s pretty significant to look at that, you certainly can’t rule that out because what 15-year-old girl writes that?” he said.

Authorities still have the girls’ clothing, and while DNA testing in 2006 revealed no clues, the items could be tested again as technology advances.

A new investigator was also recently assigned to the case, in hopes of bringing a fresh perspective. A reward of up to $50,000 is still being offered for information.

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Information from: WJON-AM, https://www.wjon.com

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