by Dennis Dalman
After 12 long years, all that remains of Joshua Guimond is memories combined with sadness, fears, anger and a total sense of bafflement.
Guimond’s father, Brian, in a Newsleader interview Nov. 18, said he believes his son was abducted in a “set-up” and that he’s still alive, somewhere, kept against his will.
The 20-year-old college student just “disappeared” from the St. John’s University campus shortly after midnight Nov. 10, 2002. Despite massive searches, no trace of him has ever been found; no new clues or other information has surfaced as to what happened to him.
The disappearance of Joshua in 2002 and the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in 1989 both happened in the St. Joseph area, and both are equally as baffling, remaining unsolved after so many years.
Guimond’s parents, fellow students and acquaintances remain deeply disturbed by the disappearance of such an intelligent and likable young man. All who knew him described Guimond as highly responsible, the kind of person who would never willfully “disappear” or do anything foolish to cause his own demise.
Guimond, who would be 31 now, was raised in Maple Lake, the only child of Brian Guimond and Lisa Cheney. He was a stellar student in high school, president of his class, school representative on the school board and voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by his classmates.
At SJU, Guimond was studying political science. One evening, he attended a get-together with friends at Metten Court on the north end of campus. Shortly after midnight, he left the gathering to walk home, normally a three-minute walk to his dormitory room at Maur House.
The next day, worries began when it became obvious that something was wrong, that something had happened to Guimond.
Law enforcement speculated he might have stumbled into a lake on campus. After weeks of searches that involved the sheriff’s department, trained divers, a bloodhound and volunteers, no trace of Guimond was found on the campus or in its waters.
At the time he went missing, Guimond was not dressed for the weather. He had not worn a warm coat to the friends’ gathering, an indication to many he intended to take the quick walk home afterward so did not have to bundle up. He also did not wear his eyeglasses to the party. His car was found on campus. There was no other indication he had left the campus with anyone or had any plans to go anywhere else after the gathering.
Guimond was described as 5 feet 11 inches, 160 pounds, blonde hair and blue eyes. He had a four-inch vertical scar on one of his shoulders. At the time he went missing, he was wearing blue jeans and a gray SJU sweatshirt.
His roommate, Nick Hydukovich, stunned by Guimond’s disappearance, said he was so responsible that his going somewhere else that night was unthinkable, something Guimond would absolutely not do.
After 12 years, an undertone of frustration and anger can still be heard in the voice of Brian Guimond, Joshua’s father, who still lives in Maple Lake.
From the very beginning, Guimond accused the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and St. John’s University of either doing a weak effort at investigating or of stonewalling when questions came up as to what might have happened.
Talking via telephone from Maple Lake Nov. 18, Guimond told the Newsleader he has a theory as to what happened to his son, but he cannot prove it, saying only it was a “set-up” and that, in his opinion, it involved one or more staff members at SJU. However, Guimond declined to give specifics except for the name of someone he suspects, someone who worked on the SJU campus at that time, but he acknowledges he lacks the concrete evidence to prove his theory.
In the weeks after Joshua went missing, his father was frequently on the SJU campus, but the authorities there succeeded in getting a restraining order against him for a period of two years.
Guimond said two days after Joshua went missing, someone gained access to his computer in his dorm room and erased hundreds of emails from the machine’s hard drive. Guimond believes whoever did that knew something about his son’s abduction.
The only thing that will solve the case, Guimond told the Newsleader, is for cold-case experts to come to the Stearns County area, to ask all the right questions and to examine any and all investigative reports that have – or have not been – completed. And the only thing that can make that happen, Guimond said, is public pressure.
If anybody has any information about Guimond’s disappearance, they should call the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office at 320-251-4240 or the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Tip Line at 1-877-996-6222.
For more about the case, go online to: www.findjoshua.com.