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Families Suspect a Link Between Missing College-Age Adults

All four disappeared within 170 miles of one another after leaving a bar or a party.

November 16, 2002|From Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Four college-age adults have gone missing in the last few weeks in Minnesota and Wisconsin, all after leaving a bar or a party, and their families said they suspect a link.

The relatives met here Thursday to urge police to step up their investigation -- one they said has lagged because the missing are adults.

"Seems like this stuff's all got to be connected somehow," said Brian Guimond, the father of Josh Guimond, a 20-year-old St. John's University student.

The four disappeared within 170 miles of one another.

Josh Guimond was last seen about midnight Saturday as he left a party on the Collegeville campus, about 70 miles west of Minneapolis. Divers searched a nearby lake, and dozens of state National Guard soldiers were called in, but they have found nothing.

He was the fourth young adult reported missing since Oct. 30, when 21-year-old Erika Marie Dalquist was last seen leaving a Brainerd bar with a man. The only one who wasn't in college, Dalquist worked at a telemarketing company.

The next night, Christopher Jenkins, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Minnesota, disappeared after leaving a Halloween party at a Minneapolis bar.

A week later, Michael J. Noll, a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was last seen leaving a local bar on his 22nd birthday.

The families said they believe that authorities would have been quicker to respond to the cases if the missing people were a few years younger.

"I think it's painfully evident these are kids," said Jenkins' mother, Jan Jenkins.

Unlike in cases of missing children, many police departments wait a few days before investigating missing adults because so many return home on their own.

Jenkins said the families were left to deal not only with fear for their children but also with organizing search crews and private investigators on their own.

"This has got to be the most gut-wrenching, terrifying situation parents could find themselves in," Jenkins said.

The acting commissioner at the Department of Public Safety said officers were doing the best they could.

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