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Dru's Family Refuses To Give Up

The family of a missing college student said they have not given up hope that she will be found alive, despite a sheriff saying Dru Sjodin is likely dead after DNA tests showed her blood was found in the car of a man suspected in her kidnapping.

"It looks at this time like there's no chance that we're going to find Dru alive," said Grand Forks County Sheriff Dan Hill. "I believe it's more of a recovery than a rescue at this point in time."

Sjodin's family disagrees.

"I think we are all realistic in believing she's still alive," brother Sven Sjodin insisted Wednesday morning on CBS News' The Early Show. "They have not been able to prove that she's not.

"Splatters inside a car does not say to me that someone is not alive," he told co-anchor Hannah Storm. "You know, I can cut my finger and probably put more blood than what may have been inside that car."

Sjodin (pronounced sha-DEEN) was last heard from Nov. 22, when she called her boyfriend on a cell phone from the parking lot of a Grand Forks mall where she worked at a Victoria's Secret.

Searches of rivers, ditches and snow-covered fields in two states, sometimes employing hundreds of volunteers, have turned up few clues to her whereabouts.

Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., a 50-year-old with a history of violent sexual assaults, has been charged with Sjodin's kidnapping and is jailed on $5 million bond. He has said through his attorney that he is not guilty.

The DNA match would be the most significant break yet in the attempt by authorities to tie Rodriguez, a convicted rapist, to Sjodin's disappearance. Hill said investigators tested blood from Rodriguez's car against DNA taken from Sjodin's toothbrush. He described the blood in the car as a small amount.

Hill confirmed a media report that the trunk of Rodriguez's car had been extensively cleaned before his arrest.

Searchers found Sjodin's shoe near the Red Lake River after she disappeared, Hill said. Divers have searched the river thoroughly, and don't believe the body is there, he said.

The shoe, identified by a college roommate of the 22-year-old Sjodin, is the only piece of clothing recovered so far, Hill said.

An affidavit unsealed later Tuesday revealed some new information, reports CBS News Early Show National Correspondent Jon Frankel:

  • Blood on the inside of the passenger side rear window and on the rear seat of Rodriguez's car was a match to the DNA sample.
  • A black folding, lock-blade knife was observed in the trunk — "It was a 4-inch folding knife that had a serrated edge on it," said Hill — that matches a sheath found next to Sjodin's car in the mall parking lot the night she disappeared.
  • Rodriguez says he went to a movie that night not far from the mall, but officers determined the movie "was not being shown at any theatre near the Columbia Mall."
Hill, the Grand Forks County sheriff, said Rodriguez sat down and fell asleep during a search of his house.

"If I had police walking around in my house I wouldn't be snoozing," Hill said.

Rodriguez has a history of attempted kidnapping with adult women, and has used a weapon in at least one assault. Rodriguez was released from a Minnesota prison in May after serving 23 years for an attempted abduction in 1979.

Frankel reports that, despite the grim announcement from the sheriff, the search will continue. The governors of Minnesota and North Dakota have agreed to send in the National Guard this weekend to help find Sjodin.

"It may refocus the areas that we concentrate in," said Sven Sjodin. "But other than searching, no, it really hasn't changed anything."

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