Sandra B. Bertolas
Updated: Jan 12
Sandra Bertolas, who also went by the nick name 'Sandy', was only 20 years old when she went missing on April 24th, 1988. She left her home in Menomonee Falls, WI to go to the Red Carpet Lanes bowling alley in West Allis, WI to confront her boyfriend after finding out he was also dating another woman and he had given her a false name and address for that woman. It was was reported that Sandra had told people that he had "begged" her to see him that night and that he even offered to pay for her gas.
Sandra was pregnant at the time of her disappearance. The boyfriend denies knowing that, although, friends and family state he was made aware of this.
Sandra has not been seen or heard from since April 24th. Her family says that it is out of character for Sandra no to call and check in with her parents. Her white car was found abandoned in the Red Carpet parking lot on April 27th. There was no evidence found in the car.
Sandra's boyfriend was an ambulance driver and was preparing to become a Milwaukee County firefighter. It has been reported that the boyfriend was scheduled for work on April 24th from 4pm to 12am but he called in sick.
When police interviewed the boyfriend, he denied seeing her that night, and provided an alibi of being at his girlfriend's house, which would be the other woman that Sandra found out about, and that he had been there in Milwaukee all night. The girlfriend confirmed that he was with her all night. He also denied giving any false name to Sandy. He admitted to authorities that he did call her at least twice that day.
Weeks later, the boyfriend asked Menomonee Falls Police for a second interview as he wanted to change his statement and remembered new details of the night Sandra went missing. The police scheduled an interview and a polygraph test but the boyfriends lawyer called the department saying that he would not be speaking to police any longer.
Sandra was the youngest of 8 children and she was living at home with her parents in Menomonee Falls, WI. She was employed part time as a hair dresser.
An anonymous tip in June of 1988, lead investigators to Mount Olivet Cemetery on Morgan Avenue in Milwaukee. They brought in trained cadaver dogs to search the cemetery, and they focused in on a 12 foot square area where there had been an open grave at the time that Sandra had gone missing. Law Enforcement did some additional searching but did not find anything. They later found out that the cemetery's caretaker was the boyfriend's father and that the boyfriend had also worked at the cemetery previously.
One of Sandra's sisters said that she had found a napkin with an address written on it in Sandra's bedroom. The address turned out to be the address of the cemetery.
A John Doe Investigation was opened in March of 2001, lasting 21 months, and ended with a lack of probable cause, leaving the family and investigators with no additional answers. There is no physical evidence in this case, which leaves law enforcement just as frustrated as the family. Law Enforcement believes that Sandra is the victim of foul play and continues to investigate this case as a Missing Persons case, which is now labeled a 'cold case'.
Sandra's family believes her life was taken on the night that she disappeared. They are hoping to find her remains so that they can place her in a cemetery plot which is next to their father's grave in the St. Anthony cemetery. St. Anthony is the patron saint of all things lost and stolen.
Sandra is described as a white Caucasian female, 5’6” tall, and between 150 and 160 pounds. She has dark brown, shoulder length hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue tweed jacket and black pants, and was carrying a white purse.
Sandra would be 53 years old today.
25 years after Sandra's disappearance, Sandra's sister, Paula was quoted in an interview with the Journal Sentinel, saying, "Right now, we're asking the one responsible for this if they could please have a heart and let us know where her remains are. Lift your conscience, end this not knowing, even if it's anonymous."
Sandra's family continues searching for answers on what happened to her that night and they are still offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the location of Sandy.
Any Leads and Information can be directed to:
Menomonee Falls Police Department
For more information: