On April 14, 1999, at about 7:30 PM, a tall, powerfully-built young man walked into Decoy’s Bar and Grill on 4th Street in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, ordered a beer and chatted briefly with the bartender. The bartender, who knew this young man, noted he was unusually cheerful. It’s not known exactly how long he stayed, but at some point in the evening he left and got in his truck, but he left his wallet on the bar at Decoy’s. He then vanished off the face of the earth.
Nathan Edberg, age 21, was remembered as a cheerful, active young man who loved to play basketball. He was also devoted to his three younger siblings. He was going through a rough time in the spring of 1999, having just broken up with a girlfriend of 4 years, and his parents were divorcing. Friends and family had noticed he was depressed during this time, but seemed fine on the night he disappeared. Nathan’s mother, Jackie, who has continued to maintain hope for his return or at least a clue as to what happened to him, has said she doesn’t believe he committed suicide.
This is the Google Street View shot of the former site of Decoy’s Bar and Grill, where Nate Edberg had his last drink. As you can see it’s now a realty office.
Something obviously happened to him. Not long after his disappearance, his truck was found in a ditch at an intersection of two highways just east of St. Paul, Minnesota, slightly less than 10 miles away from Decoy’s. The truck was locked, keys in the car, and there was no sign of struggle or foul play. Footprints led off to the east. Did he drive off the road, then get out and start back for help? No one knows. There have been the usual unconfirmed sightings, which happens often in these cases; one alleged sighting had him working at a tattoo shop in Mexico. Decoy’s has gone out of business. The ditch where Nate’s truck was found no longer exists, and his youngest sibling is now out of college.
Nate’s family has not given up the search. As happens sometimes with missing persons cases, his mother has consciously kept the same phone number she had in 1999 in case he should ever call. (Mitchel Weiser’s mother does the same thing, and he disappeared in 1973). Here is hoping that the Edberg family finally does have closure on this mysterious and heartbreaking case.