Guimond May Be Victim of Foul Play
The following opinion by Colt Blunt, at the time a senior psychology major at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., was published as a Your Turn column in the St. Cloud Times on May 9, 2004.
Joshua Guimond would have been graduating today had it not been for his disappearance.
Joshua Guimond disappeared from the campus of St. John’s University in Collegeville. He was last seen about midnight Nov. 9, 2002.
He did not have his glasses or car keys. His car was in the same spot he left it. The clothes he was wearing were not warm enough for the approaching snow. His credit cards were not used and there were no unaccounted for withdrawals.
With the recent discovery of the body of Dru Sjodin, let us not forget that foul play may be a possibility with the case of Josh, as well.
A group of concerned classmates and friends of Josh has been entertaining this possibility since day one. Feasible alternatives are currently running thin.
The prevalent explanation on campus is Josh “got turned around” after a night of drinking and lost his way, likely ending up in one of the campus’ lakes. Many entities still hold on to this explanation.
In the weeks after Josh’s disappearance, exhaustive searches were conducted by local and national teams. Dog searches were conducted after the disappearance, followed by searches by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, National Guard, Mounted Police, and local students and community members.
Search helicopters also made frequent passes using infrared imaging. As time has passed and no signs of Josh have surfaced, explanations have become laughable at best.
There have even been theories that the lack of a body could be because of turtles! Apparently, some people believe that a body may not exist because it may have been consumed by the turtles that live in the lakes at St. John’s.
A frequently overlooked fact is that the Trident Foundation, the nation’s leading authority on water search and rescue, cleared all major bodies of water on campus.
The Maple Lake Messenger on May 21, 2003, quoted Scott Romme, the executive director of the Trident Foundation, as saying, “There is never a guarantee that human remains could have been hidden or dumped in a body of water and are now hidden from the sidescan sonar technology. However, based on the reports from the field, I would recommend that the search for Josh head in another direction. … Efforts [by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department] coupled with our technologies and efforts should provide a very high degree of reassurance to the family and the community that Josh is most probably somewhere else.”
It should be noted that the Trident Foundation has never cleared a lake and later had a body discovered.
This is evidence that cannot be ignored. Bodies don’t disappear unless someone makes them.
Last month, the body of Jared Dion, a University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse student, was found in the turbulent waters of the Mississippi River within a week of his disappearance. Yet nothing has been found in the small, placid lakes of St. John’s in a year and a half.
Law enforcement is pursuing other possibilities, and it is important that we do so as well.
It is difficult to accept the idea that a healthy young man may have been taken from us. Society has a much easier time buying the abduction of a female. However, in the past two decades, we have seen the disappearance of two healthy young males within a five-mile radius: Jacob Wetterling and Josh Guimond.
As much as no one likes to hear it, it is a distinct possibility that Josh’s disappearance is a result of foul play. This means that we must entertain the possibility that someone within or close to our community has taken one of our friends from us.
If anyone has any details, no matter how minute they may seem, they are encouraged to contact law enforcement immediately.
Colt Blunt, 22, is a senior psychology major at St. John’s University. Contributing to this piece were College of St. Benedict seniors Megan Bjerke, Katie Benson, Katrina Samlaska, Kate Dantoft and Sara Enright.