Details of Disappearance
McQuillan was last seen driving her pea-green two-door 1968 Dodge south on East Bad Medicine Lake Road near Ponsford, Minnesota on June 17, 1975. She was on her way to visit a couple she knew.
Recent rain had made the unpaved roads muddy, and a few miles into the eighteen-mile trip, McQuillan's car stalled. A postal carrier she knew helped her get it started again. Later on in the trip, just a mile from her friends' home, she made a wrong turn and asked a truck driver for directions.
The truck driver was the last person known to have seen McQuillan. She never arrived at her friends' house and was never heard from again. Three days later her car was later found abandoned, stuck in the mud on an unused logging road approximately one hundred feet off east Bad Medicine Lake Road, 35 miles west of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. This was in a heavily wooded, swampy area across the street from her friends' cabin.
Searchers who looked through the area right after McQuillan's car was found located no sign of her. Three days later, 52 members of the National Guard were deployed to search the same area and found her scarf and a belt hanging from bush in plain sight. Her daughter believes the items may have been planted after the location was originally searched.
According to her daughter, the couple McQuillan planned to visit that day never attempted to search for her. When a police officer interviewed the man three days after McQuillan was last seen, his clothes were wet. The officer asked him why and the man said he'd been walking on the road, but the officer thought the clothes were too wet for that, and that the man had probably been walking through tall grass in the woods.
McQuillan was the youngest of ten children, was close to her children and grandchildren, and enjoyed cooking and playing cards. Her daughter believes she may have been murdered. Her case remains unsolved.