The car that a University of Minnesota, Morris college student rode in the night she disappeared has been found. Police also say the driver of the vehicle 18-year-old Laura Schwendemann was a passenger in two weeks ago is cooperating with the investigation. The freshman was last seen October 14th in Alexandria. Investigators have not revealed the name of the car's owner or said what role he may have had in Schwendemann’s disappearance, if any. Police have said they do not believe Schwendemann left voluntarily.
The search continues for Laura Schwendemann. She has lived in Hancock and Starbuck, MN and is also a student at the U of M Morris campus. On October 15th Laura’s family reported her missing to law enforcement. The Douglas and Pope County Sheriff’s Offices, along with several local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been actively investigating Laura’s disappearance since the time she was reported missing.
On October 14th at approximately 9:29 PM Laura was observed at the Holiday Gas Station on 50th Avenue in the city of Alexandria with a male subject known to her. Laura and the male left the gas station in a 1997 black Geo Prism with loud exhaust. Investigators believe they traveled to unknown locations throughout southern Douglas County and northern Pope County during the late evening hours of Wednesday, October 14th and early morning hours of Thursday, October 15th. It is believed that they traveled by a blue house with a statue of a boy, approximately three feet tall, with blue clothing and a red hat, near the end of the driveway somewhere in these rural areas.
The male subject who was with Laura has been identified and investigators have been speaking with him. Focused ground and air searches have been conducted in specific areas identified during the investigation.
Investigators continue to ask for the public’s assistance with any information involving the location of the blue house with the statue. As mentioned earlier, the 1997 Geo Prism has been located, but law enforcement is seeking any information regarding its possible whereabouts specifically from Wednesday, October 14th at 9:30 PM through Thursday, October 15th at 10:30 AM. Investigators do not believe there is an ongoing risk to public safety.
If you have any information regarding Laura Schwendemann please contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 320-762-8151 or the Pope County Sheriff’s Office at 320-634-5411.