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Heath Hotzler, Published December 26 2009

Finding Sjodin’s body top 2004 story

Editor’s note: As the start of the new decade approaches, it’s only fitting to reflect on the one now coming to a close. A lot has happened since the dawn of the year 2000. Each day through the end of this year, we’ll take you on a trip down memory lane and will look at what stories were making headlines in the Fargo-Moorhead area this past decade.

It was the day many dreaded.

A five-month search for 22-year-old University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin ended on April 17, 2004, when her body was found in a ravine northwest of Crookston, Minn.

The nightmare began the previous November, when a cell phone call from Sjodin to her boyfriend ended abruptly outside Columbia Mall in Grand Forks.

Police later arrested Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a twice-convicted sex offender, in his Crookston home.

Rodriguez was found guilty in 2006 of killing Sjodin. Authorities said she had been raped, beaten and stabbed.

He was sentenced to death, and remains on death row.

In other stories that dominated the local landscape in 2004:


Sources: www.cnn.com, www.imdb.com, Nielsen Media Research, www.billboard.com, www.nfl.com, www.time.com, www.merriam-webster.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562