MN MN - Joshua Guimond, 20, Collegeville, 9 Nov 2002 - #2

Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by Shay, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    MAR 16, 2021
    Father Of Missing St. John’s Student Josh Guimond Files Lawsuit Against Stearns County In Search For Answers – WCCO | CBS Minnesota (cbslocal.com)
    [...]

    Attorney Mike Padden is representing Josh Guimond’s father, still fighting to find out what happened to his son. ...

    “We’ve commenced a lawsuit against Stearns County to secure the investigative file from the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office,” Padden said.

    [...]

    Padden has taken that push to court, with the desire their own private investigator can see what’s documented from the early days of Guimond’s November 2002 disappearance.

    Padden points to Jacob Wetterling’s kidnapping 13 years earlier, led by the same people, as the main reason the information should be released.

    [...]

    Stearns County has said the Guimond case remains active and in court filings contends releasing data would “jeopardize the integrity of the investigation and could impede potential prosecution of anyone who played a role.”

    A judge will make the final decision on what to do in the coming months. A father hoping it means his theories will see some follow-up after holding onto them for so long.

    [...]
     


  2. Sasquatch321

    Sasquatch321 Well-Known Member

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    Hand over the file Stearns county, your efforts are done in this case.
     
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  3. ThePhantom

    ThePhantom Well-Known Member

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    Since Stearns County has nothing to hide, hand 'em over. They apparently "can't" solve the case after 19 years, so let someone else who wants to solve the case do it. Josh's Dad and the rest of the family deserve answers after being given zero cooperation on the part of St. John's, in addition to enduring a shoddy investigation by Stearns. What happened to Jacob Wetterling's case was a travesty. Enough.
     
  4. Sasquatch321

    Sasquatch321 Well-Known Member

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    What the police should have been doing with their time-

    Mininum Once a year searches of the lakes

    Intensive investigation of the monk community

    Friends at the party

    Roommates

    Mininum once a year Ground searches

    Mininum Once a year podcast, tv and radio

    Unfortunately as the years fly by, hardly any of these have been done.
     
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  5. ThePhantom

    ThePhantom Well-Known Member

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    Exactly and what are their reasons for failing to perform any of the above actions? One theory is that certain folks hope enough time passes that people will just give up. Well they didn't give up on Jacob, in spite of being misled and misinformed. So much hurt and pain in that case; same with Josh. I rarely see any attention paid to Josh's case anymore. Heartbreaking.
     
  6. Sasquatch321

    Sasquatch321 Well-Known Member

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    "In the hours after Guimond disappeared, and on subsequent days, someone erased items from his computer hard drive. It isn't clear who did this or whether the erasure is connected to his disappearance. Some of the information that was erased, and later recovered, was about making fake identification cards."

    Can anyone believe that after 19 years of investigation, this information hasn't been solved and cleared up for us yet?

    What are they doing?
     
  7. Corrupt2theCore

    Corrupt2theCore Active Member

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    I'm not too hopeful anything will happen here. Should've went with a different attorney..... being Rassier's appeal in his case just got tossed out!
     
  8. ELOCsoul

    ELOCsoul Verified Author - "Finding Jacob Wetterling"

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    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  9. ThePhantom

    ThePhantom Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for letting us know!! It's been far too long since Joshua went missing -- almost 20 years now. Someone knows something.
     
  10. CountSnap

    CountSnap Active Member

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  11. CountSnap

    CountSnap Active Member

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    So true. That could very well be the root of all in this case.
    But, maybe as is the case a lot of the times, Police know more than they are letting on. ?
    Hopefully?...
     
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  12. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Josh Guimond Lawsuit Targets Early Days Of Investigation
    Mar 16, 2021
     
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  13. Shay

    Shay Active Member

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  14. DarkJodo

    DarkJodo Well-Known Member

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    Gone without a trace: Joshua Guimond’s 19-year disappearance fuels Minnesota father’s lawsuit and quest for truth | Park Rapids Enterprise

    Gone without a trace: Joshua Guimond’s 19-year disappearance fuels Minnesota father’s lawsuit and quest for truth
    Brian Guimond said he does have a theory as to what happened to his son, but at this point, he’s tight-lipped. He does believe the truth will come out — although, he doesn’t believe it will be the result of the investigation currently being handled by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.
    Written By: Trisha Taurinskas | 10:05 am, Dec. 9, 2021

    [​IMG]
    Joshua Guimond disappeared from St. John’s University campus in Collegeville, Minn. in 2002 following a late-night gathering with friends. Thorough searches of the lakes surrounding campus failed to prove theories that the college junior drowned after leaving the university’s Metten Court dormitory. Photo courtesy of St. John’s University Archives

    Nineteen years after Joshua Guimond went missing from Minnesota’s St. John’s University campus in Collegeville, Brian Guimond is on a mission to find his son — and highlight what he sees as inadequacies in an investigation that has failed his family.

    A lawsuit filed against the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office in March on behalf of Brian Guimond seeks the release of the investigative file into the disappearance of Joshua Guimond — a suit that will continue to gain steam in January 2022 as it goes before a judge for a scheduling conference.

    Joshua Guimond went missing the evening of Nov. 9, 2002 after leaving an on-campus gathering at a neighboring dorm hall. While his friends assumed he had slipped out to the bathroom, Joshua Guimond never returned to the party — and has never been seen publicly since that night.

    He left, seemingly, without a trace. His vehicle remained parked on campus. His keys were found securely in his apartment, along with his glasses, contact lenses and wallet, which included his credit cards and identification.

    Regarded as an exceptional student with aspirations of law school and a life in politics, friends and family members say he was a responsible individual who didn’t behave irrationally. While alcohol was consumed prior to his disappearance, those who were with him that evening claim they did not observe him to be intoxicated.


    In the days following his disappearance, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office — led by Sheriff Jim Kostreba — focused entirely on a theory that Joshua Guimond fell into one of the campus lakes while making the three-minute walk back to his residence.

    To this date, Joshua Guimond’s body has never been discovered.





    “Back on day one, hour one, Kastroba was the sheriff, and he said, ‘He’s in the lake, end of story,’” Brian Guimond said. “There was no investigation.”

    While the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office maintains the investigation into the disappearance of Joshua Guimond remains active, Attorney Mike Padden, who is representing Brian Guimond, is skeptical.



    “We want to see it ourselves, and see if we can figure it out,” Padden said. “To be frank, we don’t really trust them to be competent.”

    Part of that broken trust is rooted in what Brian Guimond learned long after the disappearance of his son — that a building just a short walk away from where his son lived housed Catholic monks facing credible allegations of sexual abuse. On Oct 1., 2002, St. John’s University reached a settlement of “several allegations of abuse against the abbey,” according to a statement released by the university in 2003.

    Those allegations — and names of alleged perpetrators — have been slowly released throughout the years, with the latest update in 2017. To date, the Abbey has released the files of 18 monks who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, according to the Minnesota Transparency Initiative.

    Stearns County Sheriff’s Office Andrew Struffert, who is handling the Joshua Guimond case, indicated his department was thorough in their investigation of St. John’s Abbey buildings and those it housed, despite the lack of public transparency into the allegations being dealt with at the time.

    “At this point, we have no evidence that shows that any of the staff members or any of the monks were involved whatsoever,” Stuffert said.



    Trust was further eroded through Stearns County Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the Jacob Wetterling case, which had been labeled a failure by once-interim Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson. After 27 years, the Wetterling case came to a close with a confession from Daniel James Heinrich.

    “Our whole goal is to get their investigation file, and they’re fighting us on it. They don’t want us to get it,” Padden said. “With everything that has happened with Jacob Wetterling, these people just don’t have a good track record.”



    [​IMG]
    Joshua Guimond never returned to his St. John University St. Maur House on-campus apartment following a small gathering across campus on Nov. 9, 2002. The case has remained unsolved for 19 years. Photo courtesy of St. John’s University Archives


    The disappearance and investigation
    Roughly fifteen minutes after Joshua Guimond left the gathering at Metten Court, his friends attempted to call the college junior at his St. Maur House apartment but received no answer. They assumed he had gone to bed, until the next morning when he didn’t show up to mock trial practice.

    That evening, after he had been missing for 24 hours, his friends reported his disappearance to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. A search party for Joshua Guimond began Monday, Nov. 11, 2002, which included the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, the local National Guard and volunteers from the community.

    While portions of the 2,500-acre wooded area around the campus were searched on foot and horseback, divers focused on Stumpf Lake, which ran between St. Maur House and Metten Court.



    [​IMG]
    Joshua Guimond was last seen at St. John’s University’s Metten Court in Collegeville, Minn. on Nov. 9, 2002. After sneaking out for a bathroom break, friends assumed he made the three-minute walk to his St. Maur House apartment. Joshua Guimond has not been seen since. Photo courtesy of St. John’s University Archives


    At that time, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office ran with the theory that Joshua Guimond ended up in the lake on his own accord. Alcohol was considered a factor by investigators.

    Brian Guimond claims it was that narrow vision that halted the type of investigation that his son deserved — one that should have included the possibility of foul play.

    “The first twenty-four hours are the most critical, and they just kept saying, ‘He’s in the lake,’” he said. “Well, where’s your evidence? They just kept saying, ‘He’s in the lake.’ They just kept repeating it.”

    Taking matters into his own hands, Brian Guimond and the Find Joshua Fund lobbied to have The Trident Foundation, considered the country’s premier water-based crimes investigative organization, brought into the helm. After seeking approval from the Stearns County Board and St. John’s University, the Trident Foundation was allowed to do a full investigation of the three university lakes in May 2003. No evidence related to the disappearance of Joshua Guimond was found.

    Following the extensive search, Trident Foundation Executive Director Scott Romme said that his organization’s search — paired with the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office efforts — should steer family members, the community and law enforcement to explore other avenues.

    From Brian Guimond’s standpoint, that didn’t happen.



    [​IMG]
    Joshua Guimond’s father, Brian Guimond, is filing a lawsuit against the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office for the investigative file relating to his son’s disappearance. A scheduling conference is slated for January 2022. Photo courtesy of the Find Josh website.


    A father’s fight
    Armed with years of collected documents and a deep aching grief, Brian Guimond has never stopped searching for answers over what happened to his son on that cold November night in 2002.

    In the years following the Trident Foundation search, he and others continued to be met with the likely explanation that his son had fallen into the water and had possibly gotten stuck in the mud.

    In November 2004, Brian Guimond took that theory to Bradley Wenz of the Minnesota Soil and Water Conservation District, who indicated that soil capable of drawing a person in had not been identified in Stearns County, according to a letter sent by Brian Guimond to Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch in 2005.

    “A year and a half after the lakes were cleared by Trident, Sanner was still sticking to the story that he fell into a swampy area,” Brian Guimond said. “So then I got a hold of the Soil and Water guy and he said, “No, we don’t have any soil like that in this county.’”

    Brian Guimond also questions why the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office waited nearly two weeks to speak with the students his son spent time with before he went missing.













    “The last nine people to see him, they didn’t even get talking to them for two weeks after the fact,” he said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that you needed to talk to these people now. I mean it’s just one thing after another.”

    For two years, Sheriff Sanner was adamant that Joshua Guimond’s disappearance was not the result of abduction. However, in 2005, Sanner did indicate that Joshua Guimond was considered a missing person and that it was possible that he could have disappeared by abduction.

    Since the initial search of the lakes, there has been no new evidence or updates on the case presented to the family or the public.

    As far as allegations of sexual abuse against monks who lived on campus at the time of his son’s disappearance, Brian Guimond said that was information that should have been on the record.

    “I don’t know if it would have made a difference, but it should have been made public,” he said. “Their story was, well we monitor our own. Well, that’s the fox being put in charge of the hen house.”

    Brian Guimond said he does have a theory as to what happened to his son, but at this point, he’s tight-lipped. He does believe the truth will come out — although, he doesn’t believe it will be the result of the investigation currently being handled by Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.



    [​IMG]
    This is an enhanced image of what Joshua Guimond might look like. 2017 image provided by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.


    Response from Stearns County Sheriff’s Office
    Struffert took over the case into Joshua Guimond’s disappearances more than a year ago as part of the Sheriff’s Office regular case sharing practice.

    When he received the case file, he said he spent a lot of time combing over the details — and from that analysis, created a new set of action items to tackle.

    “I’m checking those items off, and I can assure you they are still being worked on,” Struffert said. “That case is getting a complete review by a new set of eyes, by a new person.”

    Struffert admits this case offers its own set of obstacles, largely because of the lack of body and official crime scene. Nearly 20 years from the date of Joshua Guimond’s disappearance, there are currently no suspects.

    “We have interviewed a lot of people over the years, and I wouldn’t say at this point there are any suspects,” he said. “Ya know, this case is unique compared to a lot of others with the lack of physical evidence that we have at the scene, and that makes this difficult. And even as time progresses, as you go further and further out from the date of the incident, it makes it much more difficult.”

    Some of those interviews have come in the last few years, Struffert said. However, he noted that he generalizes interviews into a category that could include a potential witness, other students or anyone who was in the area at the time of Joshua Guimond’s disappearance.

    “What I’m categorizing as an interview is just speaking with anybody in reference to this case,” he said. “So, yes, there have been follow-up interviews. And even from the very beginning, friends and family were interviewed. We haven’t done many of those recently, but even the friends at some point are going to be re-interviewed.”

    One aspect of the case that has changed is access to new technological capabilities. That is an element that’s being looked at in this case, particularly as it relates to Joshua Guimond’s computer, which the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office has sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

    “That is continuing to be gone through to this day,” Struffert said. “They’re sifting through the mountains of data. So yeah, it makes me hopeful that we can talk to people who maybe haven’t been spoken to before.”

    In the meantime, Brian Guimond and Attorney Mike Padden will continue their quest to put someone else in charge of the investigation.

    “My client doesn’t think they’ve done a competent investigation, and we should be permitted, perhaps with some limitations as to what we can do with it, to be able to do our own investigation,” Padden said. “Look at the Jacob Wetterling case. Once the file was released, everyone realized what a debacle that was.”

    Padden and Brian Guimond share the belief that, without the release of the file to an outside investigative entity, the truth might never come out.

    “They’re just hell-bent on not giving it up, which guarantees that this case won’t be solved,” Padden said. ”I think that they’re concerned that if it does get solved with the release of the file, it’ll be a further embarrassing moment for their agency.”

    The scheduling conference in January 2022 will set a date for a hearing, at which point a judge will interpret the statute Padden and his client are citing in support of their case. Padden said if the court doesn’t rule in their favor, he and his client are poised and ready to appeal.

    “Our position is that at this point the case is essentially over,” he said. “They haven’t done anything substantive for years, and we should be entitled to get the file.”
     

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