Searches continue for Erika Dalquist, 21, from Brainerd, Minn., Christopher Jenkins, 21, a University of Minnesota student from Eden Prairie, Minn., the search for Michael Noll, 22, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student from Rochester, Minn. has been called off, and Josh Guimond, a 20-year-old St. John's University student from Maple Lake, Minn.
Authorities have no reason to believe that the four cases are connected in any way. One of the only similarities between the disappearances was that all of the missing students were last seen leaving a bar or a party at which alcohol was served.
More than 100 members of the National Guard set out to search. Collegeville for clues behind the disapperance of Guimond, and a similar search was conducted in Eau Claire for Noll.
Each year, roughly 17,000 Minnesotans are reported missing, most of whom are under 18. This year, however, in Minneapolis alone, more than 180 people have been reported missing, mostly adults.
In an email sent out to all St. Olaf students on Nov. 13, Dean of Students Greg Kneser urged everyone to "exercise good judgment
and prudent caution. This means making good choices about the use of alcohol, watching out for your friends, and being careful in personal actions." He also reiterated the fact that there is no proof that these cases are related.
St. Olaf Public Safety Director Fred Behr said that St. Olaf security has not been beefed up since the four students were reported missing. "We still have seven officers performing the same duties as they did prior to the events," he said.
However, Public Safety is striving to provide more visual comfort to students. "Most nights we are running both vehicles which gives us more presence on campus," Behr said.
Behr has not noticed a marked increase in the number of students calling for a Public Safety escort at night.
There has been only one report of a suspicious person on campus since the middle of October, which Behr believed was most likely a St. Olaf student wandering the floors of his residence hall.
There is really not a lot we can do but to stress to students to make wise decisions, avoid putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations and staying with people they know," Behr said.