Family, community still has hope for return of Jeremy Jourdain
BEMIDJI, Minn. — A year after the disappearance of Cass Lake teen Jeremy Jourdain, the Bemidji Police Department has followed up on more than 120 leads.
His family has held multiple fundraisers, conducted numerous community searches and created a reward fund, hoping to bring Jourdain home.
Jourdain's aunt, Alex Tanner, said the family is still taking things day by day. She raised her nephew, and has spent the past year searching along with other family members when time permits.
"We're just kind of at a dead end right now," Tanner said. "We don't know where to go next. Nothing new has come in, no tips."
While no new searches have been scheduled, Tanner and other family members, as well as the Bemidji Police Department, hope other efforts will lead to knowing the teen's whereabouts.
Jourdain was in the Nymore neighborhood within the city of Bemidji on the night of his disappearance, Halloween night, Oct. 31, in order to gather with friends, according to a news release from the Bemidji Police Department.
After he was reported missing, multiple agencies searched by air and water, as well as on the ground in the ensuing weeks and months. Law enforcement use dogs, drones, boats, canoes, airplanes and helicopters to look for Jourdain and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created posters that have been distributed nationwide, with an emphasis on Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Jourdain's family has also conducted its own searches. The last was only a month ago, when about 20 people gathered to look for the teen, who was 17 when he went missing. Last weekend, community members participated in a spiritual run/walk for Jourdain.
"Our spiritual run/walk it was helpful, I think, to my other two daughters," she said. "Just knowing that there's still awareness out here."
Now that snow has fallen, making additional searches difficult, Tanner and other family members are focusing on increasing the reward fund, to be given to anyone with information leading to Jourdain's return.
A fundraiser will be held Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Northwest Indian Community Development Center. The event will include a hand drum contest with prizes, as well as chili, wild rice soup and other foods and beverages for sale.
Raffle tickets will also be sold during the fundraiser, and a winner will be drawn during the event. Prizes include beadwork, outfits and a gift card.
Police are also asking locals to check their land and outbuildings, and encouraging deer hunters to check cabins, hunting lands and deer stands.
Jourdain is not considered a runaway. He is described as a 6-foot-4-inch, 175-pound Native American male with short, dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue and gray hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants.
"We're really thankful for everybody, you know, helping us and being there for us," Tanner said. "You know, helping us with the fundraisers and the walk/run this past weekend, everybody that participated in that."
If you have information about Jourdain's whereabouts, call Bemidji Police at (218) 333-9111.