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'Dru' Prosecutors Won't Deal

Prosecutors in the case of a missing North Dakota college student said they won't cut a deal with a kidnapping suspect in exchange for information on the woman's whereabouts, and a search for her continued Friday.

The search for Dru Sjodin was concentrated north of East Grand Forks, Minn., and was being conducted only by law enforcement, with no plan to call back the volunteers who aided early efforts.

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 50, is charged with kidnapping Sjodin, 22, on Nov. 22 from the parking lot of a Grand Forks shopping mall. Bail was set Thursday at $5 million, and the defense said Rodriguez wants to stay in jail because he fears for his own safety, his lawyer said Friday on CBS News' The Early Show.

"We just believe right now it's in his best interest to stay confined, especially for his safety," David Dusek, appointed by the court to represent Rodriguez, told co-anchor Harry Smith.

When asked early Friday if Rodriguez was holding information back in hopes of cutting a deal with prosecutors, Dusek said in another interview he didn't know.

Sjodin's brother Sven, in that same network interview, urged Dusek to ask Rodriguez "if he could please help as quickly as possible. ... We do believe that he does have her alive."

A source close to the case tells CBS News Early Show National Correspondent Jon Frankel that Rodriguez was talking to authorities before he was arrested and before he went to court, but when he got a lawyer, he stopped talking.

Prosecutor Rick Brown told reporters Thursday there was little chance prosecutors would offer to cut a deal with Rodriguez in exchange for information about the missing woman. "I don't see that as a possibility," he said.

"It's too early to even talk about any type of deal," said Dusek.

An article in The Star Tribune of Minneapolis on Friday cited Grand Forks police Sgt. Michael Hedlund as saying that authorities have videotapes placing Rodriguez in the mall's parking lot around the time Sjodin disappeared. Hedlund disputed that account Friday.

"They are turning around what I said," he said. "We have probable cause to believe that Mr. Rodriguez was at Columbia Mall that day. I also said we have received surveillance tapes. I'm not saying what's on those videotapes."

The Grand Forks Herald has reported that on the day Sjodin disappeared, Rodriguez didn't show up for work at his job hanging drywall at a construction project in McIntosh, Minn., a small town about 25 miles southeast of Crookston, where Rodriguez lived with his mother and was arrested.

Prosecutors and police have refused to discuss evidence in the case, and Rodriguez's preliminary hearing and arraignment aren't scheduled until Feb. 4 and Feb. 6. Court documents probably won't be made public until Sjodin is found, Grand Forks County State's Attorney Peter Welte said.

The odds of finding Sjodin alive fade with each passing day, Hedlund said.

"You hate to sit there and look at statistics, but national statistics aren't in favor of us in this point and time," he said. "But we're still hoping for a positive outcome."

Rodriguez, who had previously pleaded guilty to rape, was released from prison this spring after serving 23 years for attempted kidnapping and assault.

Ardi Whalen, the victim of that 1980 attack, told an interviewer that she felt "sick in my stomach" when authorities notified her in April that Rodriguez was about to be released from prison:

"I was glad that we no longer lived in Crookston, because I knew that he was coming back to Crookston," Whalen said.

She said that in 1980 she was less than a block from her home there when Rodriguez approached and asked for directions.

"When I told him that he must be on the wrong street, then he turned and came in front of me and he pulled a knife," Whalen said. "He said 'get in the car or I'll kill you.' I reached out with my left hand, I was going to hit him or push him or something, and then he stabbed me in the left elbow and in the stomach and ran to his car, and I ran home."

Whalen, a portrait artist, sketched a picture of her attacker, and police arrested Rodriguez within days.

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