Seasonal December 30, 2017
Over 80 Years Later, The Oldest Cold Case In Wyoming Is Still Baffling
How does a person simply vanish without a trace? If there’s anywhere it can be done, the wilds of Wyoming is the place. That’s where a young bride disappeared over 80 years ago, and the mystery of what happened to her is still a cold case on the Wyoming State Crime Lab’s books.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
In the fall of 1934, Olga Schultz married Carl Mauger just a few weeks after they met.
Olga was an attractive redhead who'd grown up in the country and Carl was a handsome Wyoming man who'd made his fortune in oil.
For the honeymoon, the couple chose to spend a couple of weeks elk hunting in the Absaroka Mountains.
With Olga's background, the mountainous territory was a familiar one that she enjoyed.
Carl and Olga pitched a tent at Togwotee Pass and proceeded to spend a leisurely week roughing it with not a soul around for at least 40 miles.
Olga had invited her sister, Edith, along on the trip. Surprised at being included and not wanting to be a third wheel on a romantic vacation, Edith had declined.
Almost a week into the honeymoon, Olga disappeared seemingly into thin air.
The couple had been out on a hike, looking for game. After walking for awhile, Olga pleaded exhaustion and stopped to rest, urging Carl on. She had a bag of sandwiches and a small ax with her and said she would take a short break while her husband climbed a nearby ridge to see if he could spot any elk. Twenty minutes later, when he came back to the spot where he'd left his young bride, there was no sign of her.
Carl searched for Olga on his own for awhile before contacting friends, family, and the authorities for help.
More than 300 people searched the area, and Indian trackers and bloodhounds were brought in to help look for the smallest sign of the missing woman, but none was ever found. Not a scrap of her clothing, not her little hatchet, not her bag of sandwiches - not even any indication of a struggle or that she'd been injured.
The area where the couple had been hiking along with the spot near Togwotee Pass where they'd camped was repeatedly searched, and for years afterward hunters kept an eye out for traces of Olga or evidence as to what might have happened to her. More than 80 years later, not one clue has ever been found.
Many believed that Carl and Olga had married too hastily. Her sister felt she'd regretted it immediately and that was why Olga had invited her on the honeymoon hunting trip. Edith also suspected that Olga used the opportunity during the trip and her knowledge of the mountain area to slip away to freedom.
Others felt that Carl had something to do with his bride's disappearance. He had been in a long-term relationship with another woman before his whirlwind marriage to Olga. Many thought he recognized that he'd made a mistake and disposed of Olga while no one was around.
Authorities held Carl in custody for 2 months. His story held up under repeated interrogations, however, and he was eventually cleared of suspicion. Seven years after Olga's disappearance, he married the woman he'd been seeing for 5 years before he'd met and married Olga.
Carl obtained a divorce rather than having his first wife legally declared dead. He did it out of respect to Olga's family, who believed that, since no evidence of foul play or a fatal injury had been found, she still could be alive somewhere, and might even come back eventually.
To this very day, however, not one trace of Olga has ever been found in the Togwotee pass area or the Absaroka mountains, and no one has ever heard from her.
Authorities and amateur sleuths all agree that if Olga had an accident or had been murdered, some sort of evidence should have turned up at some point - blood evidence, a body, pieces of clothing or belongings. Additionally, family and friends felt that she would have contacted at least one person over the years to let them know she was safe.
What do you think happened to Olga?
Have you heard of other Wyoming mysteries that are as old as the Mauger cold case – or older?