ST. PAUL (AP) -- The families of four college-age adults missing in Minnesota and Wisconsin met Thursday in St. Paul to share their frustration and plan the next steps in their searches.
"Seems like this stuff's all got to be connected somehow," said Brian Guimond, the father of Josh Guimond, a 20-year-old St. John's University student.
Dozens of Minnesota National Guard soldiers have been searching for Guimond, of Maple Lake, who was last seen about midnight Saturday as he left a party on campus. Divers have searched a lake near the building where the party was held but didn't find him.
The others missing are:
--Christopher Jenkins, a 21-year-old University of Minnesota student from Eden Prairie last seen leaving a Halloween party at a Minneapolis bar late on Oct. 31.
--Michael J. Noll, of Rochester, Minn., a 22-year-old junior at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was last seen leaving a bar late Nov. 6.
--Erika Marie Dalquist, 21, of Brainerd, who was last seen leaving a bar there with a man on Oct. 30.
It's been a long few days for the families -- made worse, they said, but the fact that those missing were adults. If they'd been 17 years old or younger, authorities would have been quicker to respond, family members said.
"I think it's painfully evident these are kids," said Jenkins' mother, Jan Jenkins.
She's upset by the lack of attention police gave the case for more than four days -- precious time if her son were abducted or hurt.
Unlike in cases of missing children, many police departments wait a few days before getting involved in missing adults cases because many return home on their own.
"This has got to be the most gut-wrenching, terrifying situation parents could find themselves in," Jenkins said.
Not only are they having to deal with fear for their child, they're having to organize search crews and private investigators on their own, she said.
"We need help," Jenkins said. "We need it immediately."
Mancel Mitchell Jr., acting commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, said officials are doing the best they can, but acknowledged that it would never be enough for the families.
"The avalanche of casework that comes into these agencies necessitates some type of prioritization," he said, adding that this sometimes means less immediate attention for missing adults cases.
Meanwhile, a $10,000 reward was being offered in the Dalquist case and authorities have dragged the Chippewa River in the search for Noll. A young man matching his description wandered into the residence of an elderly woman the night he disappeared.
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