Details of Disappearance Bertolas was last seen sometime in 1988 at the Red Carpet Lanes bowling alley in the 10900 block of west Lapham Street in West Allis, Wisconsin. She was planning to confront her boyfriend; as she found out he had been seeing someone else and also that he had given her a false last name and home address.
Bertolas's boyfriend, who worked the 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. shift, called in sick the day of her disappearance. He later admitted he called her at least twice that day. Bertolas told people he had "begged" to see her, and when she said she couldn't afford the gas, he offered to pay for it. She finally agreed to meet him.
Bertolas has never been seen again. Her white car, which was her prized possession, was found abandoned in the parking lot of Red Carpet Lanes on April 27. No evidence as to her fate was located inside the car.
When authorities interviewed Bertolas's boyfriend, he said he didn't see her on the night of her disappearance, and that he had never given her a false name. He also said he had no idea she was pregnant, although Bertolas had told people she had told her boyfriend about her pregnancy. The boyfriend refused to be interviewed a second time and wouldn't cooperate any further with the investigation.
Dogs tracked Bertolas's scent to the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Milwaukee. Authorities later learned the cemetery caretaker was Bertolas's boyfriend's father, and that the boyfriend had also worked there before. A napkin was found in Bertolas's room with the address of the cemetery written on it.
Police believe foul play was involved in Bertolas's case, possibly at the hands of her boyfriend, who now works as a firefighter. Prosecutors conducted a 21-month John Doe probe into the case in 2002 and over fifty witnesses testified before a grand jury, but the probe concluded without any indictments being issued.
Bertolas, the youngest of eight children, resided with her parents in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin at the time of her disappearance. She was studied business and marketing at Waukesha County Technical College and worked-part time as a beautician at a Cost Cutters hair salon in 1988.
Her father died in 2010, but the rest of her family is still alive and hope she'll be found. Her loved ones believe she's deceased and have purchased a cemetery plot for her next to her father's grave.
- Menomonee Falls Police Department
Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 28, 2018; medical conditions added, distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.