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December 9, 2003
Grand Forks Sheriff: Dru Sjodin Not Likely Alive

Following the release of the affadavit unsealed by the court in the disappearence of Dru Sjodin and the arrest of Alfonso Rodriguez, the sheriff's office appeared to have given up hope of finding the young woman alive:

Hopes of finding a missing college student alive faded Tuesday, as authorities confirmed a finding of her blood in a suspect's car and revealed that they had found one of her shoes near the Red Lake River. .... Grand Forks County Sheriff Dan Hill said he thinks it unlikely that she is alive.

"I certainly hate to be discouraging to the family or anyone, but it looks to me now that it's more of a recovery mission than a rescue,'' Hill said, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Sjodin's mother, Linda Walker, said family members were "outraged'' by Hill's assessment.

Maybe it's just me, but I hardly think it helpful to tell people that Dru is likely dead, and it's unnecessarily hurtful to a family undergoing something akin to a water torture. If I was her parent, I'd be outraged as well. It certainly calls into question the sheriff's motivation in cancelling searches as was done earlier this week.

However, a look at the evidence does point to the worst possible conclusion:

* DNA match between blood found in Rodriguez' car and sample from Dru's toothbrush
* Dru's shoe found by the river
* Distinctive knife found in car matches sheath found nearby Dru's last known location
* Rodriguez lying about his whereabouts at the time of the abduction:

An affidavit unsealed later Tuesday had a major new piece of information: Rodriguez's account of his whereabouts at the time Sjodin disappeared from a Grand Forks mall parking lot. According to the affidavit, Rodriguez told police he had been at the Columbia Mall that afternoon, and saw a movie, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico,'' at a theater near the mall until 7 or 7:30 p.m. Police said the movie wasn't shown at any theater near the mall that day.

This is the criminal mastermind that the brain surgeons in our state decided wasn't an exceptional risk to release back into society. Let me stress again that this idiot was released in May. He couldn't go six months without involving himself in another attack, and this time the only thing we've found of the girl is her blood and one of her shoes.

Stories like this led to California's three-strikes rule, where a third felony conviction results in a minimum 25-years-to-life sentence. The existence of sexual predators like Rodriguez, whose family even knew better than to release him, requires a similar option in Minnesota. For all of the death-penalty debate that's currently going on here, it would have been a moot point if Minnesota had done its job and protected Dru Sjodin and the rest of our young women from monsters such as Rodriguez.

Must we wait until the monsters learn to kill the witnesses before we put them away for life?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 9, 2003 10:40 PM

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