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BY TIM JONES
TRIBUNE STAFF REPORTER
TEAMS OF INVESTIGATORS, VOLUNTEERS, DOGS AND EVEN THE NATIONAL GUARD HAVE BEEN SEARCHING THE FIELDS AND WATERS OF WISCONSIN AND MINNESOTA FOR THREE MALE COLLEGE STUDENTS AND A YOUNG WOMAN, EACH OF WHOM MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED WITHIN THE LAST TWO WEEKS AFTER A NIGHT OF PARTYING.

ON THURSDAY, POLICE SAID THAT DESPITE INTENSE EFFORTS TO FIND THE FOUR INDIVIDUALS, AUTHORITIES STILL HAD NO INFORMATION ON THEIR WHEREABOUTS.

THE CASES, ALL INVOLVING PEOPLE IN THEIR EARLY 20S, ARE DISTURBING BECAUSE THEY HAVE OCCURRED IN A NARROW TIME FRAME--THE FIRST DISAPPEARANCE WAS OCT. 30 AND THE MOST RECENT WAS SATURDAY--AND WITHIN A 120-MILE RADIUS OF MINNEAPOLIS.

WHILE THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE SIMILAR, POLICE OFFICIALS SAID THEY SEE NO CONNECTION LINKING THE INCIDENTS. HOWEVER, THEY HAVE NOT RULED OUT FOUL PLAY IN AT LEAST TWO OF THE CASES.
AUTHORITIES SAY THEY ARE NOT CLOSE TO DISCOVERING HOW OR WHY THESE INDIVIDUALS ARE MISSING.

"THERE'S NOTHING NEW," SAID JOHN BOLDUC, CHIEF OF POLICE IN THE CENTRAL MINNESOTA COMMUNITY OF BRAINERD, WHERE ERIKA DALQUIST, 21, WAS LAST SEEN OCT. 30 IN A DOWNTOWN BAR.

A WITNESS TOLD POLICE DALQUIST WAS SEEN LEAVING WITH A MAN, WHO HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED.
"I THINK WE CAN SAY ABDUCTION IS ONE OF THE POSSIBILITIES, AND THE LONGER THIS GOES ON IT IS A STRONGER POSSIBILITY," BOLDUC SAID.

MISSING PERSON CASES ARE COMMON. BUT FOUR OF THEM HAPPENING UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS SAY, IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL.

IN COLLEGEVILLE, A MINNESOTA TOWN OF 3,500 PEOPLE WEST OF ST. CLOUD, THIS KIND OF INCIDENT "IS A FIRST," SAID STEARNS COUNTY SHERIFF JIM KOSTREBA. AND THE PASSAGE OF TIME IS ADDING TO THE ANXIETY OF INVESTIGATORS.

EFFORTS TO FIND 20-YEAR-OLD ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY STUDENT JOSH GUIMOND, WHO HAD LEFT A PARTY SATURDAY NIGHT TO RETURN TO HIS DORM ROOM, DREW 100 MINNESOTA NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS, TWO HELICOPTERS, TRACKING DOGS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO TRUDGED THROUGH SWAMPY TERRAIN AROUND COLLEGEVILLE. THEY ALSO DRAGGED A NEARBY LAKE.

THAT PART OF THE INTENSIVE SEARCH FOR GUIMOND ENDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT. KOSTREBA SAID INVESTIGATORS WOULD CONTINUE CHECKING LAKES IN THE AREA.

"THERE'S NO INDICATION OF FOUL PLAY, BUT WE HAVEN'T RULED IT OUT," HE SAID. AUTHORITIES IN EAU CLAIRE, WIS., AND MINNEAPOLIS OFFER SIMILAR STORIES FOR TWO SEPARATE DISAPPEARANCES.

MICHAEL NOLL, A STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-EAU CLAIRE, HAD BEEN CELEBRATING HIS 22ND BIRTHDAY AT A TAVERN ON NOV. 6. HE WAS LAST SEEN LEAVING A HOUSE HALFWAY BETWEEN THE TAVERN AND HIS RESIDENCE.

EAU CLAIRE POLICE CHIEF PAT MCNALLY SAID SEARCH DOGS WERE PROWLING THE AREA AROUND NOLL'S RESIDENCE ON THURSDAY, TRYING TO PICK UP HIS SCENT.

MINNEAPOLIS POLICE SPOKESWOMAN CYNDI BARRINGTON SAID POLICE HAVE LITTLE TO WORK WITH ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTOPHER JENKINS, 21, A UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA STUDENT LAST SEEN OCT. 31 AT A DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS BAR.

"IT'S BEEN TWO WEEKS, AND NO CONTACT HAS BEEN MADE, AND HE'S STILL NOT HOME," SHE SAID. "WE HAVE BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH HIS FAMILY, BUT THERE ARE NO CLEAR, CONCRETE INDICATORS."

BARRINGTON SAID FOUL PLAY CANNOT BE RULED OUT. "WE JUST DON'T KNOW," SHE SAID, "AND AT THIS POINT ANYTHING WE COULD SAY WOULD BE SPECULATION."

COLLEGE STUDENTS AND ALCOHOL SOMETIMES PROVE TO BE A DEADLY MIXTURE.

BRIAN WELZIEN OF CARY, ILL., HAD BEEN CELEBRATING THE NEW YEAR ON JAN. 1, 2000, IN A DOWNTOWN CHICAGO HOTEL. FRIENDS SAID HE WAS DRUNK WHEN THEY LAST SAW HIM.

WELZIEN'S BODY WASHED UP 77 DAYS LATER ON A BEACH IN GARY. AUTHORITIES SAID HE HAD DROWNED.

THE HISTORY OF ACCIDENTS AND FOUL PLAY HAS DRIVEN INVESTIGATORS TO SEARCH IN AND AROUND WATER.

"WE CONTINUE TO FOCUS OUR SEARCH ON THE CHIPPEWA RIVER NEAR HIS RESIDENCE," SAID MCNALLY, THE CHIEF IN EAU CLAIRE INVESTIGATING THE NOLL DISAPPEARANCE.

HAROLD COPUS, A FORMER FBI AGENT WHO HEADS A PRIVATE INVESTIGATION FIRM IN ATLANTA, SAID INTOXICATED STUDENTS ARE VULNERABLE AND ARE POTENTIAL TARGETS IN BARS. COPUS SAID HE WOULD NOT DISMISS THE POSSIBILITY OF A LINK CONNECTING THE INCIDENTS.

"THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT SEEM COINCIDENTAL. BUT IN MY WORLD THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF COINCIDENCES," SAID COPUS, WHO RECENTLY SOLVED THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A NORTH CAROLINA COLLEGE STUDENT WHO WAS FOUND ALIVE IN ATLANTA.

CRAIG LAWRENCE, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS FOR ELK GROVE VILLAGE-BASED UNITED RISK PARTNERS, SAID PROGRESS IN THESE CASES USUALLY COMES FROM "INVESTIGATING THE LIFESTYLE, THE ENVIRONMENT THE PERSON COMES FROM AND ANYBODY WHO IS CONNECTED TO THEIR LIVES."