by Dennis Dalman
At long last, Jacob Wetterling was found 27 years after he disappeared, but Joshua Guimond’s parents and loved ones are still waiting and wondering in daily anguish what happened to their son and friend who “disappeared” 15 years ago.
The Wetterling case had a tragic outcome – the discovery of the 11-year-old’s body buried near Paynesville. The man who confessed to abducting and killing him is now in prison.
The parents of Guimond desperately want to know an outcome, too, even if it proves to be a tragic one. Brian Keith Guimond, Joshua’s father, told the St. Joseph Newsleader many years ago he is convinced his son met a bad end at the hands of someone else.
Now, 15 years after Guimond’s vanishing, Stearns County investigators, not to mention his loved ones, are hoping someone’s memory is jogged, that someone might connect dots that can lead to tips or clues in the baffling case.
The night of Saturday, Nov. 9, 2002 was the last time Guimond was ever seen. A junior at St. John’s University, Guimond had walked from his on-campus dorm residence at Maur House to play cards with friends at a party in Metten Court, another dorm residence building just three minutes walking distance from his residence. He left the party at about midnight. Later that night, his roommate and friend was alarmed when Guimond did not return home. He notified authorities.
In the days that followed Guimond’s disappearance, a massive search began on and near the SJU campus.
Fearing that he might have drowned in Stumpf Lake, trained divers searched the lake. No trace was found. More than 100 National Guard members and many hundreds of volunteers scoured the hilly woodland on the campus. Nothing turned up. A State Patrol helicopter did an air search. No results.
Residents in the St. Joseph area were again stunned and worried by yet another mysterious disappearance, one that happened not too many miles from where Jacob Wetterling was abducted on an autumn night in 1989.
Investigators had no reason to believe Guimond’s disappearance was the result of foul play, although they kept all options open. They have since had no tips about anything that might have gone awry the night he didn’t come home. That is why they are hoping someone somewhere can shed some light on the darkness of the unexplained.
Joshua Guimond was born and raised in Maple Lake, the only child of Brian and Lisa (Cheney) Guimond, who divorced before Joshua’s disappearance.
Guimond was an excellent student and an avid outdoorsman. He loved to go deer-hunting with his father. In fact, the time of his disappearance was the opening weekend of rifle deer-hunting, but he decided not to hunt with his father because he had homework to do. And when it came to homework, Guimond was disciplined. In high school, he had been an honor student and president of his class, voted by his peers the “most likely to succeed.”
As an SJU student, he worked hard and excelled at the Mock-Trial program and planned to become a lawyer. His roommate, Nick Hyducovich, also excelled in law and is now an attorney in Washington, D.C. To this day, he is utterly dumbfounded as to how Guimond could just “disappear” because Hyducovich has said many times how disciplined he was and how out of character it would be for him just to walk or drive off into the unknown.
When Guimond walked to the party that night, he had left his jacket, car keys and credit card in his dorm room.
On the 15th year of his disappearance, parents and friends of Guimond held a vigil/prayer service the evening of Nov. 9, 2017 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Maple Lake.
His mother said she wants everyone to remember her son is missing, not to forget him.
“Someone’s got to know something,” she said.
Guimond’s father has set up a GoFundMe account in an effort to raise enough money to hire a private investigator to find his son. The contributors on that site left comments:
From Betty Hyducovich, the mother of Nick Hyducovich, Guimond’s college roommate:
“Our hearts will ache for Josh’s family and friends. He was our son’s closest friend at St. John’s. We pray there are answers someday.”
“Josh is never forgotten. May everyone who was on campus that night cooperate with the family and the investigators to bring some answers.”
“I have always felt enough was not done and your family suffered added grievances because of your dogged perseverance to find Joshua.“
“Dear Brian and Lisa. Since moving to Hawaii in 1996 I’ve been pretty out of touch with Minnesota news. I am deeply, deeply sorry for what has happened to your son. It hits home for me because my sister, Pamela, disappeared from the southwest part of the country in 1976 and was never seen or heard from again.”
Anyone with any information concerning Guimond’s disappearance should call the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department at 320-259-3700 or the Criminal Action Tip Line at 1-877-996-6222. For more about Guimond and his disappearance, go to www.findjoshua.com.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.