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Missing student's father: 'Our motivation here is to find Dru'

Allan Sjodin
Allan Sjodin

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CNN's Larry King talks with Allan Sjodin, father of missing Dru.
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CNN's Jeff Flock on the convicted rapist in custody, suspected of kidnapping student Dru Sjodin.
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Affiliate WCCO's Bridgette Bornstein on family members' reactions as the search goes on.
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Larry King
Allan Sjodin
Dru Sjodin

GRAND FORKS, North Dakota (CNN) -- The arrest of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. in the disappearance of Dru Sjodin has not brought her family relief as the search continues for the 22-year-old college student missing since November 22.

Dru's father Allan Sjodin spoke to CNN's Larry King Tuesday night about his daughter's disappearance.

KING: Allan, the police chief, John Packett, said today, "Dru, we will find you" and said he believes she is still alive. What do you believe?

SJODIN: Larry, I believe exactly the same thing. That's our strength. We absolutely believe in that.

KING: Now, you've had a man -- an ex-con, a sexual predator, Alfonso Rodriguez [Jr.], he's been charged with kidnapping in her disappearance. What is going on between the prisoner and the police?

SJODIN: Larry, the police are handling that. We really aren't involved. They aren't getting a lot of information to us. And we aren't asking, because our motivation here is to find Dru, so we're saving our energy for that and that only.

KING: So you don't expect them to keep you informed as to progress?

SJODIN: Oh, absolutely. I'm sure they'll give us progress reports.

There's an arraignment tomorrow. And we'll have representatives at that arraignment. But again, our mission is to find Dru, and that's what we have set up to do.

KING: Is it strange to you at all that they have what they believe to be the culprit and they don't have your daughter?

SJODIN: Oh, I guess, you know, there's a range of emotions with that. We have all kinds of thoughts, you know, in this type of a situation. None of us -- we haven't gone through it. No one -- not many people have, so right now, we just -- you know, are holding to Dru and everything else we're trying to block out.

KING: How did you learn of the disappearance, Allan?

SJODIN: I received a phone call on Saturday evening of the 22nd telling me that there was a possible abduction.

KING: She had a boyfriend, right? Did she call her boyfriend?

SJODIN: Yes. She was talking with her boyfriend as she was walking out of the mall, as I understand it.

KING: And then she seemed to be threatened? There was some type of threat, and the boyfriend reported that?

SJODIN: Yeah. There was a -- you know, there's some thoughts there -- there was a break in transmission, and he thought he heard her say a different -- something that, you know, to the effect of yeah, yeah. OK. Oh, no. You know? There's just a number of things floating in that, and all we know is that there was a break in transmission. And he tried to, you know, get back in contact with her and had no luck.

KING: Was she serious with the boyfriend?

SJODIN: I think their relationship was, you know, just a -- more of a friendship relationship. They were a very nice couple, I believe.

KING: How are you holding up?

SJODIN: Today's been a problem. We've really had a long, tough day, so we just had a family gathering and we had a group hug, and that kind of gave us some more strength.

KING: How many are in the family? There's you, your wife, Dru and who else?

SJODIN: I have one son, Sven.

KING: And how old is he?

SJODIN: Sven is 24.

KING: And are he and his sister close?

SJODIN: Yes, yes, you know, brother-sister relationships. They've been away from each other for a while, but they're close.

KING: How's he taking it?

SJODIN: He's running on adrenaline right now. It's hurting him, but he's a strong kid.

KING: How's your wife doing?

SJODIN: She's -- she's holding on, too. She's gathering strength, also.

KING: How about the people who are involved in the search? What about your neighbors and everybody? How supportive has that been for you?

SJODIN: Oh, overwhelming, Larry. It's unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. The people of the region here have just opened up their hearts to us. Prayers and everything that's imaginable, the police have been fantastic. I can't point a finger at any one thing that hasn't been positive in all of those.

KING: Your best hope is that if this guy is the culprit, that he has her prisoner somewhere and she's alive and he's going to negotiate a way to tell him where she is, right?

SJODIN: That is correct, yes.

KING: And that's the hope and prayers of everybody who is involved in this now? This has become a worldwide interest. Are you sleeping well at all?

SJODIN: Fretful sleep. I'm a power napper, and that's the way I survive a lot of my life, so -- I will survive, yes.

KING: Because we know the connection between fathers and daughters.

SJODIN: That's -- it's a powerful connection, Larry. It's a powerful connection. I can't -- I can't wait to get her in my arms.

KING: Allan, we will stay close, and all of our prayers are with you, and thank you very much for sharing some moments with us.

SJODIN: Thank you, Larry. I can't believe that I'm live with you under -- I wish it was under a better circumstance.

KING: Me, too. Maybe the next time, it will be.

SJODIN: That's -- that's our hope, yes, thank you.

KING: You and Dru on together, that would be wonderful.

SJODIN: There we are, that's what I was hoping for.

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