Archive for Sunday, November 30, 2003

Leads grow cold for missing student

Police suspect 22-year-old was abducted

November 30, 2003

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— The search for Dru Sjodin continued Sunday as about 150 volunteers and law enforcement scoured farmland south and east of the Grand Forks, N.D., SuperTarget store for any signs that may lead them to the missing 22-year-old attending the University of North Dakota.

Sgt. Michael Hedlund with the Grand Forks Police Department said law enforcement also was conducting smaller searches around the region Sunday. The locations for those searches were based on a few of about 900 leads called in.

Hedlund said the Sjodin case was still classified as a missing persons case.

"We start out every briefing by saying Dru's still missing," he said.

He said the Itasca County (Minn.) Dive team Sunday joined divers from New York, Los Angeles, Moorhead and Grand Forks already involved in a search of rivers and streams in the region. Police said the U.S. Border Patrol also continued airborne searches of the area.

The police said again Sunday they had no reason to believe Sjodin's case was related to an attempted abduction in Fertile, Minn., Friday evening.

Sjodin was last heard from about 5 p.m. Nov. 22 as she was leaving from work in the Columbia Mall parking lot. Police were notified when she didn't show up for a shift at her second job at the El Roco Nightclub later that evening.

Police said a cell phone conversation Dru was having with her boyfriend around 5 p.m. ended abruptly with Sjodin saying "Oh no" or "Oh my God," leading them to believe she was abducted. Grand Forks Police impounded Sjodin's car the next morning.

The signal from the cell phone Dru was carrying was traced to a cell phone tower near Fisher, Minn. The signal continued until late evening Nov. 23.

Zack Petrick, left, joins volunteers as they search for missing
University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin in Grand Forks, N.D.
Police still have no suspects in the disappearance of Sjodin, last
seen at a shopping mall a week ago. The volunteers continued their
search Sunday.

Zack Petrick, left, joins volunteers as they search for missing University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin in Grand Forks, N.D. Police still have no suspects in the disappearance of Sjodin, last seen at a shopping mall a week ago. The volunteers continued their search Sunday.

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