GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Prosecutors won't cut a deal with the convicted sex offender charged with kidnapping North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin (search) in exchange for information on her whereabouts.
Meanwhile, bloodstains matching Sjodin's blood type were found in the car of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. (search), the suspect in the case, sources close to the investigation told The St. Paul Pioneer Press on Thursday.
That evidence could be the most revealing detail in the case that North Dakota authorities are building against Rodriguez.
But Grand Forks police, who are in charge of the investigation, were not confirming that report.
While the litigation proceeds, law enforcement continued to search for the 22-year-old Sjodin, concentrating on the area north of East Grand Forks, Minn. The missing woman's father, Allan Sjodin, said they are scaling back all volunteer and family search efforts due to frigid temperatures.
"We don't want to get anyone hurt," he said, remaining steadfast that his daughter is still alive. "She has a magnetism and a strength that I've always known since she was a tiny child ... I can see her waiting for us.
"Dru, we are still looking for you honey ... we're not giving up on you."
While investigators have stressed that time is of the essense to find Sjodin, David Dusek, Rodriguez's court-appointed lawyer, said even if his client told him where she was he'd have to remain silent.
"I understand the frustration of everybody, but right now Mr. Rodriguez himself says he doesn't want to talk," Dusek told Fox News on Friday.
"I'd have to keep it secret if he does tell me under attorney-client privilege. ... I'm probably the second most hated man in the United States right now, but I have a job to do."
Grand Forks County State Attorney Peter Welte confirmed at a press conference Friday that a deal is not in the works. "We're not making any deals," he said. "If there's a dialogue, the dialogue is 'Where is Dru?'"
Rodriguez, 50, appeared in court Thursday and remained locked up for his own safety. "It's best for him to remain in custody at this time," Dusek said.
Sjodin has been missing since she left work at a Victoria's Secret store at a Grand Forks (search) mall Nov. 22.
Rodriguez, a convicted rapist who had been classified as the most dangerous type of sex offender, has been charged with kidnapping Sjodin and was ordered held on $5 million bail Thursday.
When asked early Friday if Rodriguez was holding information back in hopes of cutting a deal with prosecutors, Dusek said he didn't know and he hasn't spoken with his client about the specifics of the case yet.
Dusek told Fox News that he had not received a copy of this report yet and that it will take several weeks to read through all the paperwork and prepare for his client's next court date.
Sources also told the Pioneer Press that an arrest warrant was issued Monday after a preliminary DNA analysis determined that the blood in Rodriguez's car could well be that of Sjodin. A more extensive analysis was then ordered. Rodriguez was arrested on a kidnapping charge.
Investigators who interviewed Rodriguez also found some of his responses to be "inconsistent,'' the sources told the Pioneer Press. Rodriguez did acknowledge that he was at the Grand Forks mall but denied having any contact with Sjodin.
Sjodin's brother Sven, also in a television interview, urged Dusek to ask Rodriguez "if he could please help as quickly as possible. ... We do believe that he does have her alive."
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.
Authorities also have videotapes placing Rodriguez in the mall's parking lot around the time Sjodin disappeared, Fox News has confirmed.
The Grand Forks Herald also 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' 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.
Prosecutors told Fox News they have enough evidence to convict Rodriguez.
Time Running Out
But 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.
The victim of that 1980 attack talked to NBC's "Today" show from Los Angeles about her experience and how she felt when authorities notified her in April that Rodriguez was about to be released from prison.
She said she was less than a block from her home in Crookston 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," Ardi 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. More than two decades later, she was notified by authorities that he would be released from prison.
"I felt sick in my stomach," Whalen said. "I was glad that we no longer lived in Crookston, because I knew that he was coming back to Crookston."
Fox News' Jeff Goldblatt and The Associated Press contributed to this report.