Missing Minnesotans’ families meet to discuss next steps

Monica LaBelle

The families of four missing Minnesotans gathered in St. Paul on Monday to share their stories.

Since Oct. 30, four college-aged adults, including Carlson School of Management student Chris Jenkins, have disappeared. They were all seen last at bars or parties on different nights in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The circumstances under which the four adults disappeared are similar, but authorities say there are no links among the cases.

Chris Jenkins, 21, was last seen Oct. 31 at the Lone Tree Bar & Grill in downtown Minneapolis wearing an American Indian Halloween costume.

Erika Dalquist, 21, was last seen at a bar in Brainerd, Minn. She is a union steward at Meyer Associates in Brainerd.

Joshua Guimond, 20, a St. John’s University junior, was last seen leaving a party in Collegeville on Saturday.

Michael Noll, of Rochester, Minn., disappeared from a bar in Eau Claire, Wis., on Nov. 6. He is a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student.

Inspector Rob Allen, commander of the precinct from which Jenkins disappeared, said investigators of the four cases are comparing notes but said there is no evidence to link them.

The missing adults’ families met with Patty Wetterling on Thursday to discuss what to do in the search for missing family members.

Wetterling started the Jacob Wetterling Foundation with her husband in 1990 after their son Jacob was abducted at age 11 by a masked gunman in October 1989 in St. Joseph, Minn.

“Media plays a key roll in getting peoples’ attention,” Wetterling said of efforts the families can take to find loved ones.

Wetterling said the search for Chris Jenkins remains strong.

“I believe somebody knows. (Chris Jenkins’ family members) absolutely need to keep the story out there, keep his picture out there, keep interviewing people, keep applying some pressure until we get the information,” Wetterling said. “I would revisit (the Lone Tree Bar & Grill) on a regular basis because we’re all creatures of habit. The same people probably go there all the time.”

Allen said there is “no real pattern” to missing persons cases.

“We’ve had people reappear after months. We will continue to investigate every viable lead we receive. We’re still following up on information,” he said.

Steve Jenkins, Chris Jenkins’ father, said he found out about the other missing Minnesotans on Tuesday.

“The first thing I did was contact our investigating officer, made him aware of it at six in the morning. I wanted to know from his vantage point, can they be related?” he said.

Steve Jenkins said the investigator working on Chris’ case had multiple discussions with investigators in Eau Claire who are handling Noll’s case.

“My heart goes out to (the families of the other missing adults) because I know the incredible turmoil and the flood of different emotions that we’re going through,” Jenkins said. “I would not wish this upon my worst, worst enemy. The worst thing is the not knowing.

“We need to find Chris Ö we’ve gotten almost no sleep. We hardly eat. We’re laser-focused to continue to keep Chris out in the public eye so that if someone knows something they have to come forward and share that with us. We just need that one significant lead that’s going to set this all in the correct direction.”