Remember Dru Sjodin and raise awareness

It was with great interest that I read Monday’s article “This is just a drill” by John Hoff. When I saw the words “Volunteers walked through mud, weeds and melting snow, searching for her body,” I thought I must be reading an article written four years ago.

Sadly, the day Dru Sjodin’s body was found seems like just yesterday. April 17th is fast approaching, and that will mark four years since Dru was found. I am the private investigator who worked with Dru’s family and friends, and organized searches for five months during a long, cold winter. I was there the day Dru was found. Although it seemed like the saddest day of my life, there was a sense of comfort knowing Dru had come home. Too many others are still missing.

There are many other families who are now a part of this small club. The club nobody wants to belong to. I applaud Dru’s family and friends for all they do to help teach safety and awareness. It is part of Dru’s legacy, and we all fight on to change laws and do all we can to help save lives.

I also applaud John Hoff and The Minnesota Daily for helping to raise awareness in the University community. Most victims of stranger abduction are children and young women through college age. Keep your head up, know who is around you and walk in well-lit areas. Please, never stop and stare at the ground while talking on your cell phone Ö and never be afraid to scream and fight like your life depends on it.

I have heard the suggestion of Dru’s Drill. A simulated abduction and the panic that ensues as the investigation and search begin when a loved one is missing. It seems like a great idea to help teach awareness. I’m sure it would be an eye opener.

To Heather from Over North who commented that this was some sort of “imagination game,” I’m sorry to say that this is all too real. Dru does not want you to live in fear, but Dru does want you to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t ever think “It can’t happen here.”

Bob Heales
Private Investigator
R.A. Heales & Associates

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