25 years on, we still haven’t found Ann Gotlib

Anatoly and Ludmilla Gotlib are parents, and therefore unwilling to give up hope that their daughter Ann will be found.

After 25 years, though, hope is in short supply.

Last week in 1983, Ann disappeared somewhere in the vicinity of Bashford Manor Mall off Newburg Road. The case remains a perennial black eye on the police department, and now, the wait for new and tangible progress is made all the more infuriating by Ludmilla’s near-admission on the phone last week that she and her husband might have given up altogether.

“To be realistic, it’s not feasible,” Ludmilla said, “for that case to be solved in our lifetime.”

Gotlib’s case, now four filing cabinets’ worth of information sitting at Louisville Metro Police, is considered “cold,” which means police no longer receive daily leads or tips, and because of the amount of time that has passed, said Maj. David Wood, commander of the Major Crimes Division.

Wood, a traffic officer when Ann went missing, held a news conference last Thursday at the media’s request to mark the anniversary of her disappearance. In the days following the news conference, Wood said Major Crimes has seen an uptick in the number of calls, from both anonymous and identifiable sources, but those comments must be investigated, and that takes time.

Ludmilla said immediately after Ann’s kidnapping, she and Anatoly criticized the police response because she thought detectives overlooked evidence, a mindset she doesn’t necessarily keep now.

“We used to be (critical) in the beginning,” she said. “Though, now we realize they probably didn’t have enough resources to close in on everything that was coming in. They were trying to do their best.”

She said she receives a phone call about once a year from police.

Wood said anyone with any information related to Ann Gotlib should call Metro Police at 574-LMPD. Callers can remain anonymous. There is no statue of limitations on kidnapping in Kentucky.

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