Ruby and Floyd Krakau did not sleep much the night of Lillian's disappearance. Ruby had a "gut feeling," as she recalls, that Lillian would never be found alive, perhaps never found at all. She knew Lillian would have made every effort to fulfill her responsibilities at the Mother- Daughter Banquet the day before. She had a key to the church for that purpose. Perhaps, Ruby thought, Lillian had gone to the church early, before anyone else arrived, and something had happened to her at that time. Ruby had to find out for herself.
The Krakaus drove to the Lutheran Church to see if Ruby's hunch might be true. They found the door to the church locked, an unusual circumstance during daylight hours. Was it possible, they wondered, that Lillian's body might be locked inside? They went to the residence of Reverend Lutz seeking a church key, but he was not home.
In the immediate aftermath of Lillian's disappearance there was concern for anyone linked to her who could not be located quickly. The evening before Ann had such concerns about Wendy when she could not immediately find her. Now the Krakaus had similar concerns about the Reverend Lutz. But their more immediate concern was the possibility that Lillian's body might be found in the church. Ruby called the sheriffs office.
Roger Brown, one of Sheriff Peterson's two deputies, took Ruby's call and went immediately to the Lutheran Church, a drive of only a few minutes from the sheriff's office. Roger was joined by the Krakaus. Roger and Floyd forced the locked church door open and the three of them thoroughly searched the building. They found nothing. Their only gratification was learning a few minutes later, when he arrived at the church that Reverend Lutz had not also disappeared.
Lester Peterson would have gone to the church, but he could not get away from his office. There was much to be done and the phone was ringing, ringing, ringing. People who knew of Lillian's disappearance, and the number was growing rapidly, wanted to know if she had been found and, if not, what action Lester was taking. It was impossible for him to do much of anything with the phone constantly ringing. His normal manner was to try and ease the anxieties of people who called him with problems, and that would be the large majority of Lester's calls. He was used to telling people, "Don't worry, everything will be all right." Or perhaps, "Don't worry, I'll take care of everything." But in this situation Lester's normally soothing words did not work. They seemed hollow to him as well as to those on the telephone line. He needed to ease the growing tensions of the community. But what words could possible serve that purpose when the news was quickly spreading and anxieties were rising rapidly?