GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- The investigation into the disappearance of a University of North Dakota student "has only reached the 50-yard line" with the arrest of a suspect, Police Chief John Packett said Tuesday.
A man described by authorities as a predatory sex offender was arrested Monday night in Crookston in the disappearance last month of Dru Sjodin, 22.
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., 50, was being held in the Tri-County Correctional Center, according to police in Grand Forks, N.D. An extradition hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday was delayed to Wednesday.
Sjodin, 22, of Pequot Lakes, has been missing since Nov. 22, when she left her job at the Columbia Mall in Grand Forks, about 30 miles from Crookston. Her car was found in the mall parking lot.
Authorities declined to talk about what led them to Rodriguez, other than to say it's standard procedure to look at sex offenders like him in such investigations. They also would not talk about whether he is cooperating.
The search for Sjodin was to continue Tuesday with law enforcement officers, and a plea was issued for at least 1,000 volunteers to search Wednesday in Grand Forks County and in Polk County, Minn., where Crookston is located.
"We will not be satisfied or comforted until such time as we find Dru," Packett said.
Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.
Sjodin's brother, Sven Sjodin, said the arrest made the family "by far more hopeful" about finding Dru.
Rodriguez's first court appearance was postponed until Wednesday.
Rodriguez has a history of sexual contact and attempted kidnapping with adult women, and has used a weapon in at least one assault, according to a Minnesota Department of Corrections summary of his criminal history.
His past offenses require that Rodriguez be registered as a predatory offender.
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