Missing Woman Draws Comparisons To Beth Kutz

By: Zac Schultz
By: Zac Schultz

Columbia County: Mary O'Rourke–Pape hasn't been seen at her home outside of Poynette for 17 days.

The 48-year-old was living there with her husband and two kids, but her mother says Mary was getting a divorce and looking to move out.

"She told me she was going to look for an apartment," says Doris O'Rourke.

Columbia County Sheriff's detectives have been able to track Mary to Portage for a few days after she last contacted her family. "She was in town. We tracked her. She stayed in a motel in town for a couple days," says Sheriff Steven Rowe.

Sheriff Rowe says Mary was last seen by a friend in Lake Delton on June 6th, a full week after she saw her family.

But they've found a short disappearance for Mary wasn't out of the ordinary. "It wasn't unusual for her to go for a day or two to stay with a friend," says Rowe.

What is strange is for her to go so long without contacting her kids. "Her children were her life. I don't understand why she wouldn't contact any of us," says Doris.

"The longer you don't hear from her it concerns us more that there may be foul play," says Rowe.

Speaking of foul play, Sheriff Rowe says this case is bringing up memories of Beth Kutz. "That's still fresh in our mind."

Beth Kutz was the Poynette woman who disappeared in July of 2000. An exhaustive search never turned up her body, but her ex–husband Daniel Kutz was later convicted of her murder.

Mary's pending divorce and disappearance is on the mind of the detectives. "It makes us probably a little more paranoid than another agency," says Rowe.

Sheriff Rowe isn't ready to call this a search for a body. He says there are two major differences between Beth Kutz and Mary.

First; unlike Daniel Kutz, Mary's husband has been cooperative and hasn't been caught lying.

And second; Mary's car hasn't turned up. "By a car not being found, that gives us a little more hope in the law enforcement field that the car is on the move," says Rowe.

Mary was last seen driving her Champagne colored 1996 Toyota Camry, license plate 956-CYH.

If you have any information, you can call 608 742 4166.

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