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A knife in a pool of liquid household cleaner was found in the spare tire well of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.'s maroon 2002 Mercury Sable sedan, according to a source close to the investigation. Investigators could tell that the interior of the car and the trunk obviously had been recently and extensively cleaned, the source told the Herald. But bloodstains found in the car have been matched with Sjodin's DNA, the source said.
Police said Friday the search for Dru Sjodin has been scaled back, but it will continue until she is found. Sjodin's family said they are stopping their separate search effort, and some made plans to go home today, two weeks after the 22-year-old UND student went missing at Columbia Mall. She remains missing, with no sign found despite several massive searches. Meanwhile, the man charged with kidnapping her remains in a Grand Forks jail, under an unprecedented $5 million bond. His attorney says he denies any involvement. Police say Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. kidnapped Sjodin Nov. 22.
The search for Dru Sjodin continued Thursday on both sides of the Red River as snow flurries covered the ground and her accused kidnapper appeared in Grand Forks District Court. For the first time since Nov. 24, no news conference was held in the Grand Forks Police station. One is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The man accused of kidnapping Dru Sjodin sat quietly in a packed courtroom Thursday in Grand Forks to hear the charge against him read aloud at a proceeding that went on live television across America. It was the first court appearance for Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., on the Class A felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $10,000 fine. Rodriguez, 50, had appeared Wednesday in Polk County District Court in Crookston and agreed to be extradited to North Dakota to face the kidnapping charge. He was moved to the Grand Forks jail Wednesday and Thursday appeared at the brief, 1:30 p.m
A former Crookston woman watched with more than a little personal interest Monday to the news of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. being arrested and charged with kidnapping Dru Sjodin. The woman, who asked not to be named, fought off Rodriguez years ago when he stabbed her with a knife in an attempt to kidnap her from a Crookston street. Now retired to the Southwest with her husband, the woman remembered being attacked by Rodriguez on April 13, 1980, in Crookston. "We had been at my grandson's baptism in Harwood, N.D., and we had just come home. It was a nice night in April, and I went for a walk.
A convicted sex criminal was arrested Monday night at his Crookston home and charged with kidnapping Dru Sjodin, who remains missing. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 50, was arrested at 7:20 p.m.
The search for Dru Sjodin expanded Wednesday to include at least the edges of cities of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Crookston, according to Grand Forks police. But it still was concentrated along rivers, roads and ditches within a few miles of Fisher, which is halfway between East Grand Forks and Crookston. Despite rumors flying Wednesday around the investigation about a body being found, they were all false, and nothing was found that has been linked to Sjodin, police said.
No clues emerged Tuesday after more than 1,300 volunteer searchers pored over miles of farmland and frozen river here looking for any sign of Dru Sjodin. The volunteers joined about 70 federal, state and local law enforcement officers. "They worked very hard," Capt. Mike Kirby of the Grand Forks Police Department said of the searchers.
The cell phone that carried Dru Sjodin's voice just before she vanished Saturday evening was the focus Monday of the intensive search for the UND student. Today, hundreds of volunteers are expected to help look for the 22-year-old senior who family and police fear was abducted Saturday from the Columbia Mall parking lot. In the midst of a cell phone call to her boyfriend in the Twin Cities about 5 p.m. Saturday, she exclaimed, "Oh my God" or "Oh no," police said.