Crystal Ann Arensdorf of Dubuque, Iowa, was known to be a genuine, down-to-earth young woman who adored children and had a contagious smile.
“She was kind. Even if you did something that could be upsetting, she never really said bad things about people,” her childhood friend, Dawn Walsh, said.
“She just generally was a kind person, loved kids, genuinely just sweet, beautiful. Her smile was infectious, and we would just lay there and laugh for hours.”
Crystal did frequently move as a child. But, she grew up with six full and half-siblings and was very close with her family.
Then, by the time she turned 20-years-old, Crystal moved in with her boyfriend, Tim, in Dubuque. At the same time, she started working for a home cleaning business and had her entire adult life ahead of her.
But, on July 4, 2001, everything changed for Crystal and her family. That evening, the 20-year-old and her sister, Jennifer, attended a fireworks show at a friend’s house– which was located near the Mississippi River. Then, once the show ended, Cyrstal reportedly called her boyfriend, Tim, and the couple got into an argument.
Afterward, Crystal and Jennifer decided to visit the Knickers Saloon in downtown Dubuque to meet up with a group of friends. While at the bar, the 20-year-old also began speaking with a bartender named Robert. And while talking, the pair planned to share a cab back to East Dubuque after Robert’s shift ended.
By the time Robert finished bartending at about 2:30 a.m., though, Crystal had vanished. Her friends had already left the bar earlier that evening, and her sister, Jennifer, had taken the 20-year-old’s car. Apparently, Jennifer had been worried about Crystal drinking and driving.
Still, no other patrons remembered seeing Crystal leave the bar. She also left behind both her keys and money and was officially last seen at about 2:00 a.m.
Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.