PESHTIGO - A decades old mystery may be solved in Peshtigo.
Last week, a resident found an old gun in the Peshtigo River.
Officials say that discovery may be linked to a 1956 bank robbery.
As work continues on the dam, the bed of the Peshtigo River is exposed to the world.
It no doubt holds some secrets, but it may have let one go early last week.
"They were looking for bottles, and they found this," explained Peshtigo Mayor Al Krizenesky.
Residents found what officials believe is a .22 caliber handgun buried in the sediment.
By the look of it, it's been down there for awhile.
On May 21st, 1956 two men robbed the Peshtigo National Bank.
According to the Peshtigo Times, three shots were fired, and one teller was injured.
The men made off with more than $1,000, but were caught just a few hours later.
"My husband and I both worked in the bank," said Yvonne Sielaff of Menomonee Falls during a phone interview.
Eighty-three-year-old Yvonne Sielaff was the teller.
The experience is something she'll never forget.
"They came in and pointed a gun at him and said they wanted his cash and I was behind the scene doing book work, and I turned around and caught the bullet from the young man that came in from the door," Sielaff explained.
The bullet is still lodged in her jaw.
The family says photos taken by the Peshtigo Times were given to them after the incident.
The newspaper reported the men used three stolen .22 caliber guns during the robbery.
When captured, police say the men told them they had thrown away the weapons.
Mayor Krizenesky says police never found them.
But he feels this gun is one of the missing pieces, especially since it was found within tossing distance of the bank.
"Logical thing for a criminal to do or even a young person is to throw the gun away or even in the river, if there's a river or lake involved, and so it just makes sense. It was right there where the bank is or was. It's now an insurance office," Krizenesky said.
Krizenesky hopes a serial number can officially link the gun to the robbery.
But before anything is confirmed, Peshtigo Assistant Police Chief Jared Phillips says more research needs to be done to say for sure.
"The FBI had taken over the investigation, so as far as the case, it appears it was closed, I'm going to assume. Again, we don't have the information right now in our archives," explained Phillips.
Once all the questions are answered, city officials hope to put the gun on display at the city's historical museum.
The Peshtigo National Bank still operates in Peshtigo.
It's located just a few blocks from the 1956 location.
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