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Mark Stodghill, Forum Communications Co., Published April 09 2012

Alleged kidnapper recovers from stab wounds

DULUTH, Minn. – James Leon Nordrum Jr. remained hospitalized Monday under the 24-hour watch of St. Louis County sheriff’s deputies as he recovers from two deep knife stab wounds to his neck.

Nordrum allegedly inflicted the wounds upon himself when law enforcement officers rescued his son, 7-year-old Wyatt Nordrum, from him Saturday night.

Nordrum, 42, is charged with kidnapping and deprivation of parental rights in connection with allegedly abducting the boy on March 27.

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin said he will be reviewing the case Tuesday for consideration of further charges.

The defendant and his son were found in a rural cabin in St. Louis County’s Stoney Brook Township at 11:23 p.m. Saturday with the help of tips from the public.

“When law enforcement showed up, they were both in a bedroom,’’ Sheriff Ross Litman said. “The son did not witness the self-inflicted stabbing, which is good. Wyatt is just fine.”

James Nordrum was initially listed in critical condition. Rubin said the report he received is that the defendant’s condition is improving. No shots were fired, and no officers were injured.

Candice Nordrum filed to divorce her husband in January 2011. According to court records, Nordrum was scheduled to be in state District Court in Duluth for a hearing regarding his pending divorce trial on the day he disappeared with his son. The disappearance of Nordrum and his son prompted a statewide Amber Alert.

According to court records, James Nordrum has been diagnosed with bi-polar-manic depression disorder and admitted that he sometimes doesn’t take his medication. Law enforcement received reports that Nordrum had been making suicidal threats and had withdrawn large sums of money from his account, according to the criminal complaint.

As a result of “grave concerns about the well-being of the child,’’ Judge John DeSanto issued an order on March 27 granting sole legal and physical custody to Candice Nordrum. The boy’s mother has permission to transfer her son to her residence in Manitoba, according to court documents.


Mark Stodghill writes for the Duluth News Tribune


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