Efforts Made to Find Reet Jurvetson
Addendum: Clarifications about Why Reet Was Never Reported Missing to the Police
By Linda Ole, September 6, 2016
I am the daughter of Anne Juvetson; the niece of Reet. Recently, there has been renewed interest in Reet’s case (See Media Updates). And we are regularly asked why she was not reported missing to the police. Many people assume that Reet’s family must not have loved her very much. However, I believe that this is false. There is a context to this story that initially was not fully explained, because of the complexities outlined below.
In the Family Statement, my mother said, “Attempts were made to reach her but they proved fruitless.” We now see that this short sentence was too vague and ultimately inadequate; hence this addendum.
So, what were these attempts to find Reet?
Initially, my Uncle Tonu who lived in the U.S., solicited a family friend who was in Los Angeles to go and make inquiries at Reet’s former address. Then, as time passed and there was still no news, the family (some say that it was my father, some say it was another family member) supposedly hired a private investigator to look for Reet. They really did not know how else to find someone on the other side of the continent. They assumed she was living her life somewhere, but now needed to be tracked down.
I believe that the police were not notified because the family (and really, their entire social circle and community) simply did not realize that this was what one did in such circumstances. Times were different 47 years ago. Nowadays, reporting a loved one missing would be perfectly normal and done without hesitation. But, perhaps back then they believed that contacting the police would only be done in the event of a crime, and not to find a young woman who had an adventuresome side, and who could have been travelling and living just about anywhere.
With the passage of time, they did become quite concerned. They made concrete efforts to find her, as best as they knew how to do things: by hiring a private investigator.
However, there is now a difficulty that arises. I will honestly attempt to address it, and follow with my understanding.
The problem – A competent detective would have checked with police records, where Reet’s file was waiting to be found. So, I can only conclude one of three things:
Theory One (which I doubt): My grandfather or my uncle or my father perhaps never actually hired an investigator. That would mean that they misled the family and left everyone in false hope. This is very unlikely and I don’t really believe this theory, although it remains a slim possibility.
Theory Two: Perhaps there was someone hired, but this person was a con-artist who took the money and ran; saying, “Sorry, but I couldn’t find anything.” All is possible.
Theory Three: Perhaps there was indeed an investigator who went and searched, and looked at police records, but the forensic drawings did not match his expectations of what Reet was supposed to have looked like. Of the three original drawings, from what I can see, there is only one that looks a bit like Reet. So, this is a plausible theory but not at all verifiable. (This, by the way, is not intended to be a criticism of the police or their forensic artists.)
After considering these theories, comes the question that if there was a real private investigator why did he not suggest that the family declare her missing, in the first place. My mother and our family remain perplexed at all of this, and sadly the ones who can answer this question have all died.
Nevertheless, one thing is certain: I can personally testify that I heard numerous dialogues about this topic as I was growing up, even when I was a teenager. Though I was only three years old when Reet went missing, these discussions with family and friends went on for many years. The subject would come up and we would wonder about what could have happened to her. Each time the conclusion was, “The detective found nothing.” And each time the conversation ended with the shaking of heads in wonder at how she “just vanished.”
The family honestly believed they had done all they could to try to find their daughter. And though there are still no clear answers as to what actually happened, I want the world to understand that Reet was deeply loved and terribly missed. There never, ever was heartless indifference at her disappearance. Nor is there apathy now. We, as a family, are doing all we deem possible to help the authorities solve this horrifying murder.