Family Tries to Keep Focus on Search

The family of Dru Sjodin (search) is trying to keep her in the public eye as the search for her enters its second week.

"We want to keep America as informed as we are," said Sjodin's brother, Sven, who was among a half-dozen relatives at a police briefing Monday. "Unfortunately, at this time, we don't have anything exciting."

Sjodin's cousin, Jon Sutfin of Washington, D.C., said others talk about the search for the 22-year-old University of North Dakota (search) senior as being in Day 6 or Day 7 or Day 8, but the family is counting the days in a different way.

"We look at it as a countdown to finding her," Sutfin said.

Dru Sjodin, of Pequot Lakes, Minn., has been missing since Nov. 22, when she left her job at the Columbia Mall in Grand Forks (search). Police believe she may have been abducted.

Family members and law enforcement officials have been searching in all-terrain vehicles, going through ditches and fields in the Grand Forks area. Divers searched the Red Lake River near Crookston, Minn.

Police said Monday they had no new information that might lead them to the missing student. But they reported more than 900 calls to a tip line, and more than 5 million hits to a Web site set up to help in the search.

Sgt. Michael Hedlund said police received a report from a crime lab analysis of Sjodin's car, which was found in the mall parking lot. "It is my understanding that they did not discover anything," he said.

Sven Sjodin, 24, a finance manager at a California car dealership, said the family has heard from people around the world. A reward fund is up to $140,000.

In the Grand Forks area, strangers have given hot chocolate, food and gasoline.

"The outpouring of support from people has been tremendous," Sven Sjodin said.

Sjodin's mother, Linda Walker, in radio and television interviews, said her family has been overwhelmed.

A St. Cloud outdoor advertising company, Lamar Advertising, said it would donate space on some of its billboards to publicize the search for Dru Sjodin. Billboards along Interstates 94 and 29 will carry her photo and a tip line number.

Her brothers and cousins will continue searching the countryside.

"It's another day. We'll find some more places to search," Sven Sjodin said. "We just keep crossing boxes off the plat maps."

Added another cousin, Mike Sjodin, "We're going to find you, Dru."