GRAND FORKS, N.D. – A preliminary hearing for the man charged with kidnapping North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin (search) has been delayed until March so he can be examined by a psychiatrist.
Sjodin, 22, hasn't been seen since she disappeared Nov. 22 from the parking lot of the Grand Forks mall where she worked.
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. (search), a convicted rapist, was arrested nine days later and charged with kidnapping her. Authorities have said Sjodin's blood was found inside Rodriguez' car, and Grand Forks County Sheriff Dan Hill has said the young woman is probably dead.
Rodriguez's attorney, David Dusek, has said Rodriguez denied any involvement in her disappearance. The attorneys in the case have since been barred from talking with the media.
Dusek asked the court Wednesday to delay the preliminary hearing, originally set for Feb. 4, "because of the uncertainty of the mental status" of Rodriguez. Assistant Grand Forks County State's Attorney Sonja Clapp joined in the defense motion, saying the extra time is needed to get Rodriguez' records from the Minnesota prison system.
The hearing was rescheduled for March 5.
Rodriguez, 50, remains jailed in Grand Forks on $5 million bail.