Justice For Victim's Family
Nearly three years after Dru Sjodin's death, the murdered college student's family received justice. On August 30, 2006 jurors found Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. guilty of Dru's kidnapping and murder.
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Last updated August 30, 2006
Convicted Criminal Suspect In Murder
In April of 2004, police in Crookston, Minnesota discovered the body of a woman who had obviously suffered a brutal murder. Investigators say the woman had been stabbed, raped and then left to die in a ravine.
With a little investigative work, cops soon uncovered the victim's identity. She was 22-year-old college co-ed Dru Sjodin. The University of North Dakota student had gone missing in November of 2003. That's when someone abducted her from a Grand Forks shopping mall parking lot. Apparently, her body remained in the ravine for months until it was discovered.
As Dru's family mourned the terrible loss of someone so dear, cops switched gears. They went from invesitgating a missing person's case, to investigating a murder.
Police soon started to put together a list of sex offenders who lived in the area where Dru's cell phone had last given a signal. Cops say one of those people on the list was Alfonso Rodriguez -- a man with a hideous criminal history. Cops say Rodriguez served 23 years in Minnesota state prisons for aggravated rape, attempted rape, kidnapping and assault before he was released in May of 2003. Just looking at his record, cops say it was obvious Rodriguez was one of the worst offenders on the list so they brought him in for questioning. And when they started putting pressure on the suspect, police say his story didn't match up.
Evidence Helps Narrow Murder Investigation
Although police were suspicious of Rodriguez, that suspicion intensified when they searched his vehicle. Investigators say they found a folding knife in the trunk of his car as well as Dru's blood in the backseat.
Police soon charged Rodriguez with Dru's kidnapping and killing. Then, on August 30, 2006, a jury convicted him on those charges. The jury's next job will be to determine if Rodriguez should walk death row.