The seventh anniversary of the disappearance of Joshua Guimond of Maple Lake was marked by peaceful rallies on Saturday at the campus of St. John’s University in Collegeville and at the Stearn’s County Law Enforcement Center in St. Cloud.
Guimond, a student at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, disappeared without a trace from the St. John’s campus on November 9, 2002. On that evening, 20-year-old Joshua left a small card party at a friend’s apartment on the St. John’s University campus around midnight. His friends believed he was just making a trip to the bathroom, but when he did not come back after 15 minutes, they assumed he had just walked back to his dorm room. He has not been seen since. According to his family, Joshua did not have his glasses or contact lenses, his car, credit cards, or even a coat that was appropriate for the weather. Nothing was missing from his dorm room. His parents remain convinced that he was taken against his will.
Joshua, the only son of Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney, was a 2000 graduate of Maple Lake High School and a top student. He served as president of his class, was the Student Council representative to the School Board, and was voted Most Likely to Succeed by his classmates.
His disappearance, coming after three other young Minnesotans went missing within a two-week period in 2002, prompted national attention and searches of the St. John’s campus that involved the National Guard, the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, and numerous volunteers from Maple Lake and the St. John’s student body.
When the official searches ended, the private efforts began, with a bloodhound and divers brought in several times to search the St. John’s campus and selected lakes. The family of missing University of Minnesota student Christopher Jenkins introduced the Guimond family to dog handler Penny Bell and her bloodhound, Hoover. An uncle of missing University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student Michael Noll accompanied a group of divers to help in the search for Joshua. The Trident Foundation, which assisted in the search for Erika Dahlquist of Brainerd, brought in sophisticated equipment to search and clear three St. John’s lakes.
However, Dahlquist disappeared under different circumstances than the three young men, and the bodies of Jenkins and Noll were found early in 2003. Their deaths were attributed to accidents that occurred after heavy drinking. But in 2005, after the persistent efforts of the Jenkins family, the Minneapolis Police Department reclassified the death of Chris Jenkins as a homicide.
Brian Guimond continued his own investigation and in 2004, St. John’s obtained a temporary restraining order that prohibited Guimond from entering the campus without prior arrangements, charging him with verbally abusing students and staff.
More information appears in this week’s issue of the Messenger.
Rally for Joshua seeks renewed look into 2002 disappearance
Maple Lake Messenger
by Theresa Andrus
November 13, 2009