Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Dru Sjodin

The Search

Dru Sjodin school photo
Dru Sjodin school photo

The following morning, Dru's disappearance was classified by the Grand Forks Police Department as a missing person's case, which prompted an investigation. That same day, the police found Dru's car at the Columbia Mall. Her pocketbook and a shopping bag containing her new purse were in the car but her keys and cell phone were nowhere to be found. There was no evidence of a struggle, although investigators did find a knife sheath lying outside of the car next to the passenger's side door, which was left unlocked. The police impounded the car and confiscated the mall's surveillance videos of the parking lot, in the hopes of finding further clues as to what happened to Dru.  

Dru's mother shows pictures to media
Dru's mother shows pictures to media

Wrought with fear for Dru's safety, her parents desperately appealed to the media and offered a $20,000 reward for any information that might lead them to their daughter. A generous citizen, who remained anonymous, matched the reward by contributing another $20,000 to help find Dru, Fox News reported. As the news spread about Dru's disappearance, Grand Forks citizens joined together en mass to help the police and family members find the beautiful, vibrant blonde girl that had suddenly gone missing. Fliers, posters and buttons adorned with Dru's image were widely distributed and could be seen ornamenting store fronts, light poles and lapels pleading for Dru to "Come home." 

Come Home Dru pin
Come Home Dru pin

The police had already mounted a full-scale search, which spanned the Great Forks area, as well as nearby Fisher and Crookston, Minnesota, the area where Dru's cell phone signal was last picked up. During the massive search, volunteers and law enforcement officials looked for clues along the Red Lake River, local roadways, wooded areas and the ditches and fields that dotted the rural landscape. Even search dogs and helicopters were employed to assist in the hunt for Dru. Yet as the days stretched on, there was no trace of her.

 

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