Erika Dalquist's plight is national news.
The 21-year-old Brainerd woman's disappearance Oct. 30 has been featured in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as in newspapers from Boston and Pittsburgh, to name a few.
Cable news networks such as CNN and the Fox News Channel also have been running the story, and Inside Edition ran a piece on Saturday.
"We're getting a lot of exposure, and I hope it really helps," said Erika Dalquist's mom, Colleen Dalquist, who lives in Cushing.
Dalquist's disappearance has been featured with the recent disappearances of three other people in their early 20s in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc last week said, because of the facts surrounding Dalquist's disappearance, he didn't believe her case was connected to the other three.
The families of the three others missing were brought together Thursday by missing-persons advocate Patty Wetterling, whose son Jacob Wetterling was abducted by gunpoint in his hometown of St. Joseph, for a news conference in St. Paul. Colleen Dalquist said she has been in contact with the Jacob Wetterling Foundation and was invited to the news conference, but she didn't want to leave her family.
"I hate to get that far away from my sons," said Colleen Dalquist. "We need to be together."
Since she reported her daughter missing on Nov. 1, Colleen Dalquist said she has been spending her time on a Web site set up for Erika, http://www.erikasmissing.com/, fielding phone calls from friends and media, and talking with Brainerd Police Department.
"It's tough," said Colleen Dalquist of the wait for news of her daughter. "There's a lot of long days, and longer nights ... the longer it goes the harder it is to know what to do."
Colleen Dalquist thanked friends and neighbors who've come out to help her family.
"The people in the community have been just great, it's just outstanding support," said Colleen Dalquist. "Sometimes it's overwhelming they've been so good to us."
Erika Dalquist was last seen by friends outside of Tropical Nites bar in downtown Brainerd near the intersection of South Eighth and Laurel streets. She was waiting for a taxi when she saw a man she recognized and told friends to cancel her taxi because she would get a ride home with him, Brainerd Police Sgt. Dave Holtz said today.
The identity of that man has been a focus of the Brainerd Police Department investigation the past few days. Initially the only description police had of the man Dalquist was seen leaving downtown Brainerd with was that of a white male with brown hair. On Wednesday a witness came forward with a more detailed description of the man, and investigators have been interviewing Dalquist's friends and people who were at Tropical Nites that night to confirm the new description.
"The friends didn't recognize who the man was," said Holtz.
Brainerd investigators have found nothing missing from Dalquist's apartment in northeast Brainerd, no money taken out of her checking account or other financial accounts and no phone calls have been made to family or friends.
Dalquist is described as 5 feet, 4 inches tall, 135 pounds with brown, chin-length hair and blue eyes. She has a blue and green scroll tattoo on her lower back.
She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue sweatshirt with a zipper in the front. The sweatshirt may have had a hood.
Anyone with information concerning the disappearance of Erika Dalquist is asked to call the Brainerd Police Department at (218) 829-2805.
A reward of up to $10,000 has been offered for information leading to the recovery of Dalquist. Donations for Erika Dalquist's reward fund can be sent to Jane Loftis at the Security State Bank, P.O. Box 7, Pillager, MN 56473, or by calling (218) 746-3131.
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