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Authorities focus on man last seen with missing Minnesota teen

Laura Schwendemann was in this 1997 Geo Prism on the night she disappeared. Investigators are trying to determine where the car was between 9:30 p.m. on October 14 and 10:30 a.m. on October 15.1 / 2
Laura Schwendemann, who has lived in Hancock and Starbuck, has been missing since October 14.2 / 2

The man last seen with missing 18-year-old Laura Schwendemann is the focus of the investigation, according to Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen.

Wolbersen issued a news release Monday morning to clarify information in the case. Schwendemann has been missing since October 14.

"The goal of our investigation continues to be to locate Laura Schwendemann," Wolbersen said. "The last known person seen with Laura was a male known to her. Conversations/interviews with him have been conducted...As the last known person to be with Laura, he continues to be a person that we are interested in and are investigating."

Although investigators are not ruling out other scenarios, they have not received information that substantiate that Schwendemann is being held against her will. "We have not received information that would substantiate that Laura left by her own decision and is evading being found," Wolbersen added.

The Holiday gas station at 50th Avenue in Alexandria is the last place that investigators can independently confirm Schwendemann’s whereabouts, based on video footage.

Information from interviews places her in a 1997 black Geo Prism. The car has been found but authorities are seeking any information regarding its whereabouts between 9:30 p.m. on October 14 and 10:30 a.m. on October 15.

Several interviews have been conducted. Air searches of large areas have been conducted with fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

"Ground searches have been conducted based on supporting information and will continue to be conducted when information supports it," Wolbersen said.

Other agencies that have been/currently are involved in the investigation include police departments from Alexandria, Starbuck, Glenwood and Morris; Pope County Sheriff's Office (PCSO); Stevens County Sheriff’s Office; the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; State Patrol; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; the FBI; West Central Minnesota Drug and Violent Crime Task Force; Douglas County Sheriff’s Posse and Pope County Sheriff’s Posse.

Schwendemann is white, 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 125 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information related to Schwendemann's disappearance is urged to contact the DCSO at (320) 762-8151 or the PCSO at (320) 634-5411.