They adopted Veronica when she was just 7 months old and were a close-knit family that used to spend a lot of time together.
It has been 32 years since Paul Blumhorst's daughter Veronica went missing. But he has still not given up on finding her. Veronica was 21 years old and working at a grocery store a few blocks from their house in Mendota in September 1990 when she went missing. Speaking to NBC News, Blumhorst revealed that on September 19, 1990, his daughter was at work and didn’t finish her shift until 1 am. It was only the next morning that he realized something was wrong, he said.
Blumhorst's younger son, Todd, was supposed to be taken to school by Veronica that morning as his car was having some issues. However, since he couldn't find her at home in the morning, Todd called up their father at work to tell him about the situation. Blumhorst asked him to take his own car to school and told him that he would "take a look at it later."
When Blumhorst returned home around 10 am from his work at the fire department and began looking for his daughter Veronica, he too couldn't find her anywhere. Worried, he called up his wife, Betty, to find out whether she knew if Veronica had come home the previous night. "She [had] seen the car was in the garage, but she says, 'I don't remember her coming in,'" Blumhorst recalled. He immediately checked the family’s detached garage and found Veronica's Blue Chevrolet Corsica parked inside. "Everything seemed normal," said Blumhorst.
Blumhorst then called his eldest daughter Carolyn to see if she had spoken to Veronica but the line was busy. Meanwhile, Veronica's boyfriend Jeff—whom she had been dating for over a year—showed up at the house. "I said, 'Did you two go out to breakfast or something this morning?'" Blumhorst recalled. "He said, 'No.'"
Desperate for answers, Blumhorst headed to Carolyn's house but she also didn't know where Veronica was. However, she informed him that Veronica had a doctor's appointment that day and that although Carolyn was supposed to go with her, she hadn't heard from her sister the whole day. By the time Paul returned home, the police department was at his house. His daughter had been reported missing and Blumhorst is unsure of who actually placed the report. "The Mendota Fire Department, the police department – they had people coming in from out of town," Blumhorst shared. "We searched everywhere that we could think of." However, their efforts proved futile as they couldn't find any leads. According to Blumhorst, the investigation slowed down as the days went by and it "stopped, basically after about 2 to 3 weeks."
The case eventually shifted from Mendota Country Police Department to the FBI Chicago office. According to the FBI's report, Veronica left her workplace at 1:05 am on September 21, 1990, drove home, and parked her car in the detached garage. "She locked the driver's door, closed the overhead garage door, turned off the garage light, and exited the detached garage," the report states, adding that she "never entered her home and has not been seen or heard from since."
None of Veronica's personal property—including clothing, shoes, or jacket—has been recovered. 32 years later and the family still doesn't know what happened to Veronica. "We feel that she is deceased," Blumhorst said. "We feel that the only way it's going to be solved is on a deathbed—somebody's dying and they admit doing it."
Paul and Betty Blumhorst can't get over the loss of their daughter. They adopted Veronica when she was just 7 months old and were a close-knit family that used to spend a lot of time together. "Every summer we had to take a trip somewhere," Blumhorst said. "Wherever the kids wanted to go." Now, the family is hoping that someone who has information about Veronica will come forward. "She always had a smile on her face," he said. "She always tried helping everybody." Last year, the family's friends made a memorial for their daughter. "They had [a bench] made with Veronica's name on it and information about Veronica," shared Blumhorst. The family also has a bench for their son, Todd, who died of cancer 13 years ago.
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Private Investigations for the Missing