UND student missing: Pequot Lakes feeling helpless
Yellow ribbons and posters were almost as common Tuesday as a light falling snow in the small central Minnesota town of Pequot Lakes. Residents hung ribbons and posters throughout town to support the family of Dru Sjodin. Police believe the 22-ye...
Yellow ribbons and posters were almost as common Tuesday as a light falling snow in the small central Minnesota town of Pequot Lakes.
Residents hung ribbons and posters throughout town to support the family of Dru Sjodin.
Police believe the 22-year-old University of North Dakota senior and Pequot Lakes native was abducted Saturday in the Columbia Mall parking lot in Grand Forks, N.D.
"Everybody wants to know what they can do," said Frank Milo, pastor of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes.
"I guess there's just this overwhelming feeling of helplessness," he said. "It's just really upsetting."
Sid Walker said Sjodin, his stepdaughter, is a strong, intelligent and careful woman.
She was a high school honor student, a homecoming queen and a two-sport athlete, he said.
Some Pequot Lakes residents, including a group of high school teachers there, made plans Tuesday to join the search for Sjodin nearly 200 miles away.
"The teachers were very touched by having her here and they feel very emotional about her disappearance," Principal John McDonald said. "Dru was a very positive student.
"There's a lot of concern in this community, a lot of emotion," McDonald added. "People are wanting to do whatever they can to help possibly find Dru."
Residents in this town of 1,000, known for its lake homes, resorts and red-and-white fishing bobber water tower, have had to live with other disappearances and violent crime in recent years.
Police are still searching for Erika Dalquist who disappeared Oct. 30, 2002, after leaving a bar in the nearby town of Brainerd.
And in April 2001, police found the body of 50-year-old Rachel Anthony in a ditch just outside Pequot Lakes.
Authorities believe Anthony, of rural Pequot Lakes, was abducted six weeks earlier from a liquor store where she worked.
Anthony's death and Dalquist's disappearance are still under investigation, law enforcement officials said.
"It's all in a little, tight circle here," said Pequot Lakes Police Chief Mark Forsberg. "It's very frustrating."
Sjodin's disappearance has fueled new fears, said Justin Bolz-Andolshek, owner of the Northern Food King grocery downtown.
Her disappearance is the talk of the town, said Bolz-Andolshek.
"Everybody I talked to says 'Let's pray, let's figure this thing out,' " he said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Zent at (701) 241-5526