WAHPETON, N.D. - Andrew Sadek's worried classmates ringed a media briefing room at the technical college campus here as his parents pleaded for the missing student to return.
"Please come home," said his visibly emotional father, John Sadek. The Rogers-area farming family needs the 20-year-old's help with spring calving, he said.
Through tears, Tammy Sadek thanked the students and volunteer searchers for their help in looking for Andrew, who was last seen shortly before walking out of his North Dakota State College of Science dormitory, Norgaard Hall, at about 2 a.m. Thursday.
She cautioned them not to undertake their own search efforts without the direction of law enforcement.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department has helped conduct the foot, air and police dog searches in and around the Wahpeton area, including the river, said NDSCS campus police Sgt. Steve Helgeson.
A tipster reported possibly seeing Sadek on foot late Sunday afternoon near Tyler, which sparked a so-far unsuccessful search of that area.
Helgeson said officials were also considering a Civil Air Patrol search. There was no indication as to why Sadek might have left, and while he has a cellphone, it's not on, Helgeson said.
"We are following up on any lead, no matter what it is," Helgeson said. "We're chasing it down."
Friends of Sadek's dismissed the notion that Sadek could have deliberately disappeared, especially with graduation speeding toward them, on May 16.
"I don't think so - he has good grades, he's ready to graduate," Brady Winking said.
"He's not the type of person that wouldn't say where he was going," Sarah Langfeld said. "We don't really know what to think. It's shocking."
Langfeld and other students said they hoped Sadek would be found by graduation. "I was hoping he'd be home by now. I didn't think he'd be gone this long," Langfeld said.
Sadek is 6 feet tall, 175 pounds, with curly brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing jeans, orange-and-blue tennis shoes and a red-and- black sweatshirt with white lettering that says "football" on it. He was carrying a black-and-silver backpack, Helgeson said.
Anyone with information about Sadek's whereabouts should contact a special information line established for the case.
That number is (701) 671-2245.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541