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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Search for missing student ends

After five months of searching, family and friends brought Dru Sjodin, 22, home. The body of the University of North Dakota student was found April 17 in a ravine about a mile outside Crookston, Minn.

Sjodin's funeral was held April 24 in Nisswa, Minn. Mark Anderson, pastor of Crosslake [Minn.] Lutheran Church, presided at the service, which drew nearly 1,400 people and was broadcast live on regional TV and radio stations. Anderson acknowledged the end to Sjodin's life caused many to struggle with rage. He urged those listening to remain a community of love.

The Grand Forks university campus remembered the senior as well. Members of Sjodin's sorority organized a candlelight gathering the Sunday after her body was found. A public memorial service was held April 28. Later students planted a tree in Sjodin's memory.

"Dru became a part of this [college] family and our own families," said Tim Megorden, campus pastor of Christus Rex Lutheran Center. "People were drawn into the tragedy and the following search. It has permeated the fabric of this community in both sad and wonderful ways." (February, page 39.)

Sjodin disappeared in November from a shopping mall parking lot in Grand Forks. Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a convicted sex offender, has been charged with her kidnapping. A trial date has not been set and new charges had not been brought forward at presstime.


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