Menomonee Falls family still looking for daughter missing for 30 years

Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 23:16:47-04

The family of a missing Menomonee Falls woman is still waiting for answers about what happened to Sandra Bertolas 30 years later.

The 20-year-old left her home on April 24, 1988 and never returned.

"I want you to know I share your heartbreak and sorrow," said Dorothy Bertola, 87, who read from a card to her family.

She spent this April 24 sitting with her daughters reading cards sent to her from people who remember Sandra. The family said three decades ago, on a Sunday evening, Sandra Bertolas left the family's Menomonee Falls home to meet her boyfriend.

Her sister, Donna Sheperd said he had been lying to her about their relationship.

"She went to confront him with that information and no one has heard from her since," said Sheperd.

Days after her disappearance Sandra's car was found in West Allis, but no sign of her. Sandra's family does not believe she is still alive. They have searched for years for her remains, hoping for something to bury in a plot that is waiting for her.

"We do not have a grave. A body was never found," said Sheperd.

"Not knowing is a hard place to be," said Sandra's sister Paula Patoka. "You can see after 30 years it still hurt."

This year Sandra would have been 50. When she disappeared she was working as a beautician a trying to get a business degree.  

The family imagines she would have kids of her own now. But they said the worst is imagining she will never be laid to rest.

"There is someone out there who knows something and they still haven't come forward," said sister Laura Duvernell.

"She was a human being and died. We don't even know how or when. Just that she never came home," said Dorothy Bertolas as she fought back tears.

The family is hoping is someone knows something they will contact the Menomonee Falls Police Department at 262-532-8700.

Or you can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers online or at 888-441-5505.