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No clues surfacing to whereabouts of missing Montanan

Russell Turcotte was supposed to be best man at a friend's wedding Sunday in Wolf Point, Mont. The wedding went on without him. Nobody has seen the 19-year-old Wolf Point man since July 14, when he walked away from an Interstate 29 convenienc...

Russell Turcotte was supposed to be best man at a friend's wedding Sunday in Wolf Point, Mont.

The wedding went on without him.

Nobody has seen the 19-year-old Wolf Point man since July 14, when he walked away from an Interstate 29 convenience store in Grand Forks, N.D.

Turcotte apparently passed through Fargo on his way home to Montana, but officials looking for him may have reached a dead end in Grand Forks.

He was on his way home from a Rainbow Family gathering in Michigan, Wolf Point police Lt. Jeff Harada said. The Rainbow Family is a loosely organized counter-culture group that meets annually.

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Turcotte apparently hitched a ride with friends from that gathering, going as far as Brainerd, Minn. From there, he hitchhiked toward Grand Forks.

Grand Forks police detective Jim Vigness said Turcotte may have spent some time in Fargo with a female acquaintance.

On July 14, Turcotte arrived in Grand Forks. He called his mother, Linda Flynn of Wolf Point, from the Mini Mart on I-29 in Grand Forks and asked her to wire him some money via Western Union so he could buy a train ticket home.

The last person to see him was a Mini Mart clerk. Turcotte walked away from the store, headed north on the interstate.

His mother wired him the money, but he never picked it up in Grand Forks or any other city with Western Union service.

His family is "just waiting to hear from him," Vigness said. "They believe he probably left Grand Forks and is continuing on to an unknown destination."

Harada said there have been no developments since late July, when somebody reported a person matching Turcotte's description in Great Falls, Mont. A search there was unsuccessful.

Information on Turcotte has been passed on nationwide by his family. He is listed on The Nation's Missing Children Organization and Center for Missing Adults Web site, www. nmco.org.

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Turcotte is 5 feet 10 inches tall and 135 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Flynn said the trip was the first time her son had ever hitchhiked and he did not have a habit of disappearing.

The family has no theories about where he could be.

"I have fears," his mother said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Pantera at (701) 241-5541

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