Drowning in

 MidWest Missing Student Mystery 




"It can't be just a coincidence. Something is going on."
-- Steve Jenkins, father of Chris Jenkins      

Christopher Jenkins

Christopher Jenkins
MISSING: 10/31/02

What's going on?

At first it seemed that there were just

two or three

Christopher Jenkins, 21, was last seen leaving a Halloween party October 31, 2002 at the Lone Tree Bar and Grill in downtown Minneapolis. The young man's disappearance was strange, but not unusual. Two or three other students had recently gone missing under nearly identical circumstances.

Joshua Guimond search

November 9, 2002
St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota

Josh Guimond, 20, a junior political science major from Maple Lake, MN is reported missing from St. Johns University after he failed to show up for a "mock trial" meeting. Guimond was last seen about midnight leaving a party and heading home.

"That's not the way he was. He always let you know where he was and what he was up to."
-- Josh Guimond's mother, Lisa Guimond

"We absolutely believe they are connected. With Interstate 94 there -- they are the same in height, weight, all active on campus, there is something there. We spoke with the parents of the other ones and that's how we found out about all the similarities -- they are high achievers, heights and weights -- they are all very similar."
-- Josh Guimond's father, Brian Guimond

then it became four or five

Michael Noll
Michael Noll

Also suddenly missing -- Michael Noll, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student. Noll disappeared November 6, 2002 after leaving a bar where he was drinking with friends.

At first, police believed Noll might somehow have fallen into the Chippewa River, which is near his home. On Nov. 12, dogs seemed to have found his scent near the water several hundred feet from his house, but a search found nothing.

Where was Michael Noll?

Joshua Guimond
Josh Guimond

Chris Jenkins
Chris Jenkins

"Josh and Chris Jenkins look a lot alike. The three boys have the same build, same height, same coloring. Josh is about 5 feet 10, 170 pounds, with an athletic build. All were well-known on campus, outgoing, bright kids with good grade point averages.
-- Josh Guimond's uncle, Paul Cheney

"These three disappearances were just off Interstate 94."
-- Paul Cheney

Half Moon Lake

No Signs of Trauma

August 19, 2003


Preliminary autopsy results confirm that a body found in a lake is that of a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student missing since November, police said.

Michael Noll's death has been listed as probable drowning, Police Deputy Chief Gary Foster said Wednesday. The 22-year-old's body showed no signs of trauma, he said.

Someone spotted Noll's body through thin ice on Half Moon Lake on the city's west side around 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

. . . Noll said officers found his son's wallet on the body, and the clothes also matched the description of what Noll was last seen wearing. Noll disappeared late Nov. 6 after leaving a bar near UW-Eau Claire where he and some friends had celebrated his birthday.

No Signs of Foul Play

Chad Sharon

The body of another Wisconsin student, Chad Sharon, was found in February, 2003 in the St. Joseph River in South Bend, Ind. The University of Notre Dame freshman had been missing for two months. The last time he'd been seen alive, Chad was leaving an off campus party.

Alcohol was being served at the party but no one remembers seeing Chad dangerously drunk -- nor did anyone recall him wandering away from friends.

Originally from the small town of Merrill in north-central Wisconsin, Chad was an only child who kept in constant contact with his family. He was attending Notre Dame on a full academic scholarship.

When the body was discovered, there was no sign of a struggle or foul play. The coroner ruled the death an accident. Tests showed the body had a blood alcohol level of "224 milligrams per deciliter," close to three times the standard for driving while intoxicated.

An autopsy determined Chad Sharon had probably

"We don't know how he got there. There could be several scenarios that place him in the river."
-- Rex Rakow, director of Notre Dame Security Police

"The cause of death is consistent with drowning. There was no indication of foul play or other trauma to the body."
-- Rex Rakow

"What's unusual about this is that we have four young people missing within a relatively small area. They're all about the same age, and they all disappeared at night."
-- Sheriff Jim Kostreba of Stearns County,
who handled the search for Josh Guimond

Jenkins Family

Chris Jenkins' parents Steve and Jan Jenkins hired private investigator Chuck Loesch.

Loesch said two different sets of bloodhounds took handlers to the same parking area. Both traced Chris Jenkins' scent from the bar where he was last seen to a nearby underground garage.

"The dog took us into the parking area," Loesch said. "The dog took us down to these stalls here. Both dogs did. One was within five days of Chris missing, six days. The second was about three to four weeks later."

The bloodhounds indicate Jenkins got into a car, which headed west on Interstate 94.

"I think Chris was either abducted or walked into a position where he was murdered," Loesch said.

downtown, Mpls


Also uncovered by Chuck Loesch was a self-proclaimed serial killer who was living in Minneapolis around the time of the disappearances. Police have never questioned the man who, in September 2002, dialed 9-1-1 and demanded police send the FBI to his home to profile him or he'd go on a killing spree.

The man told authorities he fantasizes about abducting straight young men, suffocating them with Saran Wrap and then killing them, and that he identifies with Jeffrey Dahmer.

Police have never identified the man but revealed,
"His fantasy was to go across the country picking up males between the ages of 16 and 30 and befriending them. He stated that he would then kill them by suffocating them, drowning or burning them."

"It is clearly the pattern of a serial killer,
and I can't understand why the individual
law enforcement doesn't see that."

-- Steve Jenkins

then it was ten or twenty

As with all mysteries, it's not clear when any of this began, but the uneasy rumors about midwestern, male students who went strangely missing -- and were subsequently found dead in a local waterway without explanation -- seem to have started around 1997.

Research finds almost no news or gossip about suspicious male drownings prior to 1997, but it all depends on the parameters one sets.

No list of such cases is anything more than a list of deaths with similar circumstances. Each and every young man's death must be investigated individually. Each situation is unique. But in none of these cases was the student a likely victim for a fatal mishap.

All of them were good students, emotionally stable and physically fit. Many were noted athletes. Many were top scholars. Many were very good-looking, very good-natured and very popular. All of them were immediately reported missing because friends and family were immediately sure the student had not simply wandered off.

Whether or not some, all, or none of the cases are related to each other is highly debatable. Certainly, in no case was the victim considered suicidal, or the possible target of a killer -- and since drowning accidents don't tend to happen in late fall and winter which is usually the situation here -- the idea of a simple, but unobserved accident, seems unlikely.

College parties are also a constant theme. As in so many youth tragedies -- the role of alcohol must be taken into account.

Whether any of the midwest missing students were victim's of homicide is unsupportable guesswork, since officially, none of the boy's deaths have been classified as such.

The parameters here obviously include men who initially go oddly missing, which means if foul play is involved, no list could be complete. An alarming number of college-aged men -- and women -- vanish every year and are never heard from again. Only a tiny fraction of such disappearances have anything to do with a serial-killer plot or some other bizarre criminal activity.

Monsters, like Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy, DO exist -- however, none of these missing student cases involve sexual assault or physical abuse of any kind to provide evidence of a homicidal attack. If, in fact, any of these students WERE kidnapped, killed and later disposed of in a river, the killer has gone out of his way to disguise the crime. In each case, authorities report NO SIGNS OF FOUL PLAY.

The question left is why there are no signs of an accident -- no signs of anything that would explain what could've happened. The student goes missing for days, weeks, sometimes years, and then he's discovered in the river, almost always near the very site where massive searches were conducted. No one saw anything. No one knows anything. No time of death. No place of death. No mechanism of death.

Beyond the mysterious circumstances surrounding all of these missing student's cases, the only real similarity is the unsettling nature of their common -- apparent -- cause of death.

Cause of Death:
Apparent Drowning

Charles Blatz
28, student at Univ of WI - Platteville
September 22, 1997
La Crosse, WI
FOUND: 10/3/97 Mississippi River
Blood-alcohol content of 0.31
Cause of death: Drowning

"Chuck was a very strong swimmer, and he was physically fit and he was intelligent about the water. We just can't seem him doing anything stupid. We try to tell ourselves it was an accident, but the thought of foul play is still there."
-- Barry Blatz

Anthony Skifton
MISSING: 10/10/97 La Crosse, WI
FOUND: 10/20/97 Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Drowning
Blood-alcohol level was 0.23

Ryan Getz
Ryan Getz
MISSING: 12/31/97  East Lansing, MI
FOUND: 4/18/98  Red Cedar River
Cause of death: Drowning

Ryan Getz was a Kettering University student and was last thought to have been at a party at the Cedar Village Apartments.

Mike Cieslak, who was once Ryan’s roommate, said he was with his friend on New Year’s Eve, and after going to some downtown bars with friends, Getz became separated from the group when he went to find his girlfriend who lived at Cedar Village.

Cieslak said Ryan went to a neighbor’s when his girlfriend failed to answer her door. The neighbors told Cieslak that a stranger was with Getz and he believes Getz followed the unidentified person into another apartment.

During the search, Pat Getz, Ryan’s mother said, "Some days I deal with it really well. Other days, I don’t deal with it well at all. I guess denial is how I am getting through it now. It is a little harder because I have constant reminders."

Ryan's father, Mike Getz said it had been difficult for his family to try to return to normalcy. "It’s not easy, but we have to go on," he said. "We’re still trying to get his face out there so people won’t forget. We haven’t given up."

"It’s totally unlike him," Mike Getz said. "We would have heard from him on New Year’s Day."

Red Cedar River

Saturday afternoon, April 18, 1998 at the Red Cedar River behind the Riverside Apartments -- divers from the Michigan State Police Underwater Rescue Unit prepare to remove the body of Ryan Getz, the former Michigan State University student who had been missing since New Year’s Eve.

Franklin Gottschalk     Franklin Gottschalk

MISSING: 2/2/97
East Lansing, MI

Frank Gottschalk had been missing since February 2, 1997. The odd disappearance of the Michigan State University English senior has remained an unsolved mystery.

The missing student's parents, Adeline and David Gottschalk suspected there may have been a connection between their son and Ryan Getz’s case.

In 1998, Adeline Gottschalk said, "I don’t believe he is voluntarily missing. He would’ve called if he was alive . . . It’s still a mystery to me. Especially since I heard about the Getz boy, it makes me think something is going on." She prophetically added, "I hope it doesn’t continue, but if it does, you’ve got to stop and think."

East Lansing police Capt. Stephen Chubb told reporters his department had been in contact with investigators nationwide. He said he didn’t believe any of the missing person cases were connected, but said the departments would continue to share information.

Nathan Kapfer
Nathan Kapfer
MISSING: 2/22/98 La Crosse, WI
FOUND: 4/4/98 Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Investigators ruled Kapfer's death a drowning, possibly a suicide.

Keith Noble
Keith Noble
MISSING: 4/25/98 Athens, OH
FOUND: 5/6/98 Hocking River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Keith Noble Jr., a freshman at Ohio University, was reported missing in April 1998. He was last seen Saturday, April 25, around 1:00 AM at a party near campus.

Despite a massive search, Athens Police said Keith could not be located. Then on Wednesday, May 6, 1998 the body of the 19-year-old was discovered in the Hocking River which runs through Ohio University's campus.

According to the Franklin County Coroner's office, autopsy findings established that Keith Noble's death was consistent with a drowning, and that the body was consistent with having been in the water since Noble's disappearance. There were no signs of foul play.

Jeff Geesey
Student at UW-La Crosse
MISSING: 4/13/99 La Crosse, WI
FOUND: 5/24/99 Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Jeff Geesey vanished after a night of partying with friends. His father, Brian Geesey would later remark, "There are rumors circulating that there might be some kind of mad drowner in our midst."

Brian Welzien
Brian Welzien
Northern Illinois University student
MISSING: 1/1/00 Chicago, IL
FOUND: 3/17/00 Lake Michigan
Cause of Death: Drowning

Brian Welzien was a 21-year-old student with a 3.8 grade-point average.

Ken Christiansen
Microbiology major from University of Minnesota
MISSING: 4/13/01
FOUND: 4/16/01
Cause of death: Drowning

Ken Christiansen had been drinking on a Thursday night and disappeared early Friday morning after leaving a rugby party. His body was found face down in Chester Creek.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
Delta College student from Bay City
MISSING: 10/20/01 East Lansing, MI
FOUND: 10/23/01 Red Cedar River
Cause of death: Drowning

Christopher Nordby
Christopher Nordby
Former University of Minnesota student
MISSING: 11/7/01 Minneapolis, MN
FOUND: 2/11/02 Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Albert Papandreou
MISSING: 4/12/02
FOUND: 4/23/02 Lake Michigan
Cause of Death: Drowning
Manner of Death: Undetermined

Albert Papandreou, 32, went to Chicago on April 5, 2002 to visit family and friends. He was last seen leaving a Greyhound bus station. According to Chicago Police Dept. officials, Papandreou's body was found on the beach at 6:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of North Lake Shore Drive.

Craig Burrows
MISSING: 9/29/02 Eau Claire, WI
FOUND: 10/6/02 Half Moon Lake
Cause of Death: Drowning

Christopher Jenkins
University of Minnesota student
MISSING: 10/31/02 Minneapolis, MN
FOUND: 2/27/03 Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Apparent Drowning

Michael Noll

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student
MISSING: 11/6/02 Eau Claire
FOUND: 8/19/03   Half Moon Lake
Cause of Death: Drowning

Last seen "highly intoxicated" by an elderly woman who said he mistakenly walked into her house near the Chippewa River.

Noll's body showed no signs of trauma.

Joshua Guimond
20-year-old from Maple Lake, Minn
MISSING: 11/9/02

Joshua has never been seen since.

Chad Sharon

University of Minnesota student
MISSING: 12/12/02
FOUND: 2/12/03 -- St. Joseph River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Chad was a straight "A" student on full scholarship.

Brian Carrick
Brian Carrick
Johnsburg, IL
MISSING: 12/20/02

Christmas: Brian was seen walking into the Johnsburg, Ill., grocery store where he worked. Some reports say the teen was spotted on his way to a video store near his home.

Carrick has not been seen since.

Brian Carrick's mother, Terry Carrick, said in November 2003 that family members planned a memorial service for Brian at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg for December 20, 2003 -- the anniversary of his disappearance.

Nathan Herr
Nathan Herr

MISSING: 1/10/03 Sheboygan, WI
FOUND: 3/15/03 Lake Michigan
Cause of Death: Drowning

Jeremy Stienkeoway
MISSING: 1/20/03
FOUND: 4/10/03 St. Croix River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Jeremy Michael Stienkeoway, 24, disappeared after checking in to the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN. A videotape showed him at the casino with an unidentified man. His car was found several days later parked at the St. Croix River near Grantsburg, WI.

Stienkeoway's cell phone, wallet and other personal items were reportedly found inside the locked and undamaged car, and car keys were in his pocket when his body was found. There was no evidence of a struggle and no footprints near the vehicle. Jeremy Stienkeoway "apparently went for a drive after checking in at the casino and never came back," said Lakeville Detective Dave Watson, "There's no indication of foul play."

Glen Leadley
MISSING: 2/8/03 Chicago, IL
FOUND: 2/23/03 Lake Michigan
Cause of Death: Drowning

Jeremy Houk
Jeremy Houk
18-year-old Tulane University student
MISSING: 3/1/03 New Orleans
FOUND: 5/14/03  Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Matthew Schiess
MISSING: 11/1/03 Lena, IL
FOUND: 11/13/03 Pecatonica River
Cause of Death: Drowning

"Matthew has always been a homebody and he is the only child left at home. He has it made here and the thought of him running away is just unthinkable."
-- Doreen Kay (Blunt) Schiess

Jared P. Dion
21-year-old Univ of Wisconsin wrestler
MISSING: 4/10/04 La Crosse, WI
FOUND: 4/15/04  Mississippi River
Blood-alcohol level of 0.40
Cause of Death: Drowning

A Boston Red Sox cap was found in Riverside Park. Sgt. Jim Ballas said, "There's a pretty good chance it's his." Investigators found no evidence of foul play.

"No one has indicated any physical or verbal altercations involving Jared Dion on the night of his disappearance."
-- La Crosse Police Chief, Ed Kondracki

"Jared is the most organized, responsible kid for his age, and he always has been. He's not one to go off alone."
-- Kim Dion, Jared's mother

Joshua Snell
22-year-old in Eau Claire, Wisconsin
MISSING: 6/12/05
FOUND: 6/15/05  Chippewa River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Patrick Kycia
19-year-old Minnesota State University - Moorhead student
MISSING: 9/23/05
FOUND: 9/27/05  Red River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Patrick was last seen at a fraternity party. His body was discovered near a wooded area where one of his shoes was found a day earlier -- about two miles from where his wallet had been previously found.

Matt Kruziki
24-year-old, traveling through Iowa
MISSING: 12/23/05 Dubuque, Iowa
FOUND: 3/18/06  Mississippi River -- Illinois
Cause of Death: Drowning
"No signs of foul play."

Matt and a friend had checked into a Dubuque, Iowa hotel and went to "The River Queen Lounge" in East Dubuque, Illinois. That bar was the last place anyone ever saw Matt.

Bill Kruziki, Matt's father, is a former Wisconsin sheriff and a US Marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Scot Radel
21-year-old St. Cloud State University junior
MISSING: 2/2/06
FOUND: 3/1/06  Mississippi River
Cause of Death: Drowning

Lucas Homan
21-year-old University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student
MISSING: 9/30/06
FOUND: 10/2/06  Mississippi River
Blood-alcohol level near 03.2
Cause of Death: Drowning

Map of the Missing

Milwaukee agents have investigated an Ann Arbor, Mich., man accused of stalking an old girlfriend and her family. "In threatening e-mail messages, he uses the initials of some of the missing men," 12 News investigative reporter Colleen Henry said.

Most interesting is how closely his path mirrors the map of the missing men. He recently moved from Ann Arbor to the Minneapolis area. His old girlfriend is a student at Concordia University in Mequon, just 35 miles south of Sheboygan on Interstate 43.

The FBI declined comment and the bureau's official position remains that these disappearances are not related.

Most of the missing young men subsequently
found dead in water have been along an area
that follows highways 94, 494 and the
Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana tollway.

"It's the worst thing ever . . .
I had a map here even trying to figure out how
they went, who picked up who first, how they
went and it almost looks like they're going
around Lake Michigan."

-- Nathan Herr's mother Cindy Herr


St. Cloud MN, Minneapolis, Eau Claire WI, La Crosse

Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Gary IN,
South Bend, Lansing MI

"Date Rape" Drugs

GHB and other so-called "date rape" drugs are common. It's possible some of these young men were drugged.

Joshua Guimond

Joshua Guimond

St. John's University campus in Collegeville, Minnesota

Where is Josh Guimond?

Josh was playing cards at Metten Court
and left to return to his dorm, Maur House.

St Johns


A bloodhound found both Josh Guimond and Christopher Jenkins' scent at the university. On December 31, 2002, authorities were refused entrance to the campus monastery, then, on January 14, 2003 they were granted permission into the abby. Reportedly the dog picked up "definite scent activity with both boys but it was stronger with Josh."

Too Many Rumors, Too Few Answers

May 01, 2002
Accused clergy remain at St. John's Abbey,
schools Abbot releases information to end 'culture of secrecy'
that aids abuse


COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. -- Thirteen to 15 monks or priests live and work under restrictions at St. John's Abbey after being accused of or admitting to sexual abuse, the abbot for the monastery said.

The number represents about 7 percent of the 196 monks and priests affiliated with the monastery and nearby St. John's University, a preparatory school and a religious press.

Restrictions vary for the men, but they include keeping them off college or prep school grounds and out of university athletic facilities.

Abbot John Klassen, who has led the monastery in central Minnesota for 17 months, said he has been reviewing abuse allegations and wants to "clear the decks.''

He didn't offer a precise number of clergy who are restricted, in part because the types of cases vary. Klassen said the alleged victims were mostly boys ranging in age from 12 to 17, in incidents that took place in the 1970s.

. . . Klassen earlier sent a letter to St. John's University officials and students revealing abuse allegations against a former abbot, the Rev. John Eidenschink.

Klassen said he sent the letter because he wanted to put an end to "a culture of secrecy that makes sexual abuse and exploitation possible." He said the allegations had never been discussed, even within the monastery.

Eidenschink, who served as abbot from 1971-1979, was in poor health at the monastery and wasn't available for comment.

Klassen has made public eight other names: Cosmos Dahlheimer, Richard Eckroth, Finian McDonald, Brennan Maiers, Dunstan Moorse, Allen Tarlton, Fran Hoefgen and John Kelly.

Each has had "credible allegations'' levied against them, and -- except for Dahlheimer and Eckroth -- has acknowledged wrongdoing and sought treatment, Klassen said.

Brian Guimond still believes his son, Josh, was abducted and told reporters: "I've said from the beginning that he was grabbed. They haven't done anything from day one and they still aren't doing anything."

"Did he stop out for some fresh air and get turned around and lost? It could be as simple as that," said Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner.

Guimond's family doesn't believe it's so simple. Lisa Cheney, Josh's mother said: "I think somebody up there took him. I don't know if it was somebody on that campus or what. But somebody on that campus knows and they aren't telling."

Josh Guimond is still missing and missed.

Memory is a moral act.

"Body Found in the Mississippi River"

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Friday, Feb. 28, 2003

Authorities confirmed that the body found in the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis was that of Christopher Jenkins. The University of Minnesota student had been missing for four months.

The disappearance of Jenkins, whose parents live in Racine County, captured national attention after he and three other young adults vanished last fall in northwestern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.

Jenkins, who would have turned 22 on February 17, was last seen October 31 leaving a downtown Minneapolis tavern.

. . . Chris Jenkins' body was found about 4 p.m. Thursday in a "mass of debris," said Roseann Campagnoli, a spokesman for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department. Recovery took more than two hours because of swift water and chunks of ice in the river, she said. She could not say how long the body had been in the river.

Autopsy results:

Christopher Jenkins' Blood Alcohol Level was measured as
.12 in the aorta and .07 in the muscle tissue

Cause of death: Undetermined

Manner of death: Apparent Drowning

Mr. Jenkins had very little water in his lungs.

Chris Jenkins

Christopher Jenkins

FOUND: 2/27/03


Missing People

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Missing & Exploited Children

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