32 Years After The Cold Case Homicide Of Susan Poupart, Police Are Looking For Tips

Susan Poupart, 29, was last seen leaving a house party in Vilas County, Wisconsin in 1990. Over 30 years later, police are looking for tips to help solve her homicide.

Susan Poupart with her children, Alex and Jared.

Susan Poupart, 29, was last seen leaving a house party in Vilas County, Wisconsin in 1990. Over 30 years later, police are looking for tips to help solve her homicide.

Photo by: Alex Poupart

Alex Poupart

Susan Poupart was a fun-adoring, outgoing mom who loved to go out and enjoy herself. On May 20, 1990, the 29-year-old left a house party in Lac du Flambeau, a reservation in Wisconsin, and was never seen alive again. She was part of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribe, and she had a nine-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter.

Sheriff Joe Fath of the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office said that she wasn’t reported missing until she had been gone for at least two days. She was seen leaving the party with two men that Sheriff Fath identified to Dateline as Robert Elm and Joseph Cobb. The three left between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m.

When the two men were interviewed, they claimed that they had all gotten into a fight and so they dropped Poupart off. Both Elm and Cobb are still considered main people of interest, according to Sheriff Fath, because they haven’t proven they weren’t involved. There is also another person of interest who has yet to be named, and hundreds of people have been interviewed to determine any possible involvement in the murder.

Poupart’s remains were found later in 1990 around Thanksgiving. Although her death was ruled a homicide, Sheriff Fath said there was not enough evidence to determine the cause of death. He is one of the team of detectives who have been working on Poupart’s case since 1990.

Alex Poupart, Susan’s daughter, told Dateline that she was too young and doesn’t really remember her mother. She said, “I had dreams about her that I think were memories. Maybe it could have been a memory of when I was little.”

Alex had to rely on her older brother, Jared, and others for stories about her mom. However, the siblings were separated when Alex was adopted by a couple of her mother’s friends, and Jared stayed with their grandmother.

It hasn’t been easy for Alex to let go even as an adult, especially with consistent reminders. She observed, “Where she got abducted from is right down the road from my house. It's like three doors down. I live on the same street — the place she was last seen.”

Sheriff Fath and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office are still determined to bring Poupart’s killer to justice. He said, “I'm confident that there's people in Lac du Flambeau that know what happened. They just have not come forward. That's what we need, is — we need that tip. We need that assistance from the community to solve this case.”


If you have any possible tips or information regarding Susan’s case, please call the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office at 715-479-4441. Alternatively, leave an anonymous tip on the Vilas County Sheriff’s Office app or tip411 line.

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