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Forum staff reports, Published February 15 2012

LISTEN HERE: Initial police interviews with Alfonso Rodriguez

FARGO - When Dru Sjodin went missing in 2003, state investigators eased into interviews with her killer by chatting about the weather as they closed in on accusing him of her disappearance, newly publicized recordings show..

The recordings, aired Tuesday by KSTP television, an ABC affiliate in St. Paul, show investigators calmly engaging Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. in small talk before picking his alibi apart.

Rodriguez, a felon and sex offender, was convicted in 2006 of murdering Sjodin and sentenced to death.

KSTP reported that in the first of three interviews conducted with Rodriguez on Nov. 26, 2003, four days after Sjodin disappeared, an investigator led off with remarking, “we finally got a decent day.”

Investigators went on to tell Rodriguez the interviews were “a routine matter” and they wanted to “touch base” and get his alibi for the day Sjodin disappeared.

He told them he had gone to the mall and then a movie.

In subsequent interviews, Rodriguez told investigators he wasn’t around when Sjodin was abducted and had never seen her before in his life. In the final interview, as investigators pressed him on his involvement, he said: “You want me to admit to something I didn’t do?”

Listen to the audio of the interviews here.