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A parallel case?
Emory Hartsig wrote a letter to defense lawyer William Vincent pointing out similarities between the Luetgert case and the previous disappearance of his own mother. Vincent said the Hartsig case "closely parallels the Luetgert case and shows the wrong which may be done Mr. Luetgert." The following is an excerpt from the letter Hartsig wrote to William Vincent, which the Chicago Tribune printed on September 11, 1897:
Our family is well known in Detroit and in this city. While living in Detroit mother became semi-invalid and finally became afflicted with the idea that she was not wanted. While under this delusion she disappeared.
In talking with German acquaintances father made indirect remarks. Gossiping neighbors talked and lie.
The newspapers took the matter up and in a sensational manner alluded to the fact that mother possessed considerable property in her own name, that the sons seemed indifferent; that her disappearance was at least very suspicious; that one of the sons was engaged in manufacturing albumen and other articles; that he dabbled in soap-making; that he had big boilers in his factory; that he had lots of chemicals around; and, lastly, that he refused to talk to reporters and ordered them out of his office.
We all moved to Chicago a few years afterwards. Father got married again. A child was born to his second wife. Things moved along quietly. Mother's estate was probated, and she lived only in our sorrowing memory.
About eight years had elapsed when, in December, 1894, there occurred a strange scene in an office in the Security Building.
An energetic, alert, and well dressed woman directed the elevator conductor to show her to the office of Emory Hartsig. She entered his office and cheerily greeted the young man in charge.
The recognition was mutual. A dead mother was alive and embracing her son. She explained that she had been living out here in Evanston for five or more years, and that her attention had been attracted to a business advertisement of her son's in a local paper, and that she immediately sought them out with above result.
The papers took it up throughout the country and called it an Enoch Arden case. Father, of course, had to give up his second wife, and the family are all now reunited...
Father is now, and has been for years, connected with the Homer Hardware company, 47 West Randolph street.
If she had never returned or revealed herself the public might have been justified in having suspicion, but not to the extent of trying father on a charge of murder; and this fact induces me to give you our addresses and permission to write us if you desire further details or corroboration.