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Bernard Wright Rusness Jr.

Missing Person Case September 2021

Bernard, approximately 1976

Date reported missing : 04/03/1976

Missing location (approx) :
Wolf Lake, Minnesota
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
Ethnicity :

DOB : 04/22/1926 (95)
Age at the time of disappearance: 49 years old
Height / Weight : 5'10 - 5'11, 165 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A gold watch on his left wrist and a gold or silver ring with a square emerald on his left index finger.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Bernard has a noticeable injury to his left eye, which resembles a lazy eye. He has a receding hairline and wears wire-rimmed eyeglasses. Bernard has pellet scars in his groin area from a hunting accident. His nickname is Russ.

Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Bernard and his common-law wife, Peggy Parmenter, disappeared from their Wolf Lake, Minnesota farm on April 3, 1976. They went to the grocery store together, and later, at 4:00 p.m., Bernard was seen leveling his driveway.
Between 11:30 p.m. and midnight, neighbors noticed the house was on fire. It burned to the ground; nothing could be saved. The body of Bernard and Peggy's eight-year-old son, Brian, was found in his bedroom, and authorities also discovered the remains of two family dogs in the ashes, but Bernard and Peggy were missing and have never been heard from again. The fire marshal concluded they had survived the blaze.
All the family vehicles were left in the driveway with the keys in the ignitions of each one. The hood was up on their four-wheel-drive Ford pickup truck, as Bernard was installing a sound system. The couple also left about $1,000 in their bank accounts and never picked up their last paychecks from work.
The family's house had originally belonged to Peggy's mother. Peggy moved there in 1974 to care for her mother, who was sick. Bernard visited on weekends. Less than a year later, Peggy's mother died, and Bernard moved into the home with Peggy. At the time of their disappearances, the couple had recently finished remodeling the house.
Although the family lived in a very small town, they didn't socialize often and their neighbors didn't know much about them. Contrary to what they told people, they were not legally married; Bernard had never divorced his first wife, who lived in Fargo, North Dakota. Peggy's former husband also lived in North Dakota. Brian's babysitter described Peggy as a very protective mother.
Bernard and Peggy's disappearances remain unsolved. Foul play is suspected in their disappearances.

Other information and links : ncy

Becker County Sheriff's Department

September 2021 updates and sources

The Doe Network
The Fergus Falls Daily Journal
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

October 12, 2004. August 4, 2018; name and Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.