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Blue house, statue may hold key in missing person case

By Tara Bitzen/Forum News Service

Authorities in Douglas and Pope counties continue to search for a missing 18-year-old woman.

Laura Ann Schwendemann has been missing since Wednesday evening, October 14. According to authorities, Schwendemann was last seen at the Holiday Gas Station on 50th Avenue in Alexandria at approximately 9:29 p.m. on Wednesday.

A 22-year-old Minot, North Dakota woman was transferred to the hospital after her 2009 Ford Focus left I-94 and rolled into this slough just west of the Alexandria exit Sunday afternoon. (Tara Bitzan | Echo Press)

She is from Starbuck and is a student at the University of Minnesota Morris, according to her Facebook page.

If she is seen, or if you have had recent contact with her, contact the Pope County Sheriff's Office at (320) 634-5411 or the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at (320) 762-8151.

Hunters and farmers in the area are asked to call and report anything suspicious they see in the area. Investigators have placed a special interest on the townships of Holmes City and Solem in Douglas County and Nora and Ben Wade in Pope County.

Also, the sheriff's office is requesting the public’s help in locating a blue-colored residence with a statue approximately three feet tall near the end of the driveway. The statue is described as having blue clothing and a red hat.

This location is only being sought as a general area where Schwendemann may have been observed, according to authorities.

If this describes your residence or if you have information about this residence, call either the Douglas County Sheriff's Office at (320) 762-8151, or the Pope County Sheriff's Office at (320) 634-5411.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

(320) 763-1211