Sheriff: MN teenager left gas station with man before she disappeared


Authorities who've been searching for a missing Minnesota teenager say she was with a male subject in the hours before she disappeared on Oct. 15, and they have been interviewing him.

Laura Schwendemann, 18, of Starbuck, was last seen at a Holiday gas station in Alexandria at about 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 14.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office posted an update on the investigation Saturday afternoon, saying that Schwendemann was seen with the man – whom she knew – at the gas station.

The two of them left together in a 1997 black Geo Prism, but officials say they don't believe Schwendemann left voluntarily with the man.

Police say they believe the two drove around southern Douglas and northern Pope counties overnight and into the morning of Oct. 15.

They've located the car (pictured below), but are still asking the public for any information about where the vehicle might have been between 9:30 p.m. Oct. 14 and 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15, KSTP reports. Officials note the car has a loud exhaust.

Investigators also say they believe the two drove by a blue house which has a statue of a boy, about three feet tall, standing near the end of the driveway. The statue has blue clothing and a red hat, the sheriff’s office said.

"Focused ground and air searches have been conducted in specific areas identified during the investigation," the sheriff's office said in its news release.

Schwendemann is a student at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Investigators say they don’t believe there is an ongoing risk to public safety.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at 320-762-8151 or the Pope County Sheriff's Office at 320-634-5411.

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