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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr. Will be Extradited to North Dakota

Aired December 3, 2003 - 12:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: There's a new development involving the suspect in custody this hour in court -- the suspect in custody in the case of that missing college student in North Dakota. The family of Dru Sjodin can only hope that if he knows something, Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr. will talk and will talk soon.
Keeping track of all of the developments for us in Grand Forks and nearby Crookston, Minnesota, is CNN's Jeff Flock.

What's the very latest -- Jeff?

JEFF FLOCK, CNN CHICAGO BUREAU CHIEF: Indeed, Alfonso Rodriguez was in court in Crookston just moments ago, and he has decided now -- the headline is -- to waive extradition. There had been speculation that perhaps he would fight it and that it could take weeks to have him brought back from Minnesota, Crookston, where he lives and was arrested back here to Grand Forks, the police department back here behind me.

But now, he has waived extradition, so he'll be back. He made a very short court appearance this morning, about five minutes. He was in handcuffs for it. The judge asked him if he understood what he was doing in terms of waiving his extradition and coming back here. He replied with word -- that was "Yes," the only word he uttered. He signed the paperwork to make that possible. We're told he could be back here as early as today, Wolf.

One other note, Mr. Sjodin was in the courtroom and watched the proceeding. There was also another woman in the back of the court apparently, who came -- burst out from the back of the courtroom and ran up toward Mr. Rodriguez at one point and hollered at him in Spanish. The translation was something along the lines of: Why don't you save your mother the grief, and if you know where the body is, tell authorities where the body is.

So, that disruption in court at the very end of it, but Mr. Rodriguez made no response at that and simply went out of court. And as we said, we expect to hear him -- or see him here in this breezy, cold Grand Forks, North Dakota shortly -- Wolf.

BLITZER: He is suspected of kidnapping Dru Sjodin. Is there any indication that you're getting, Jeff, that he's cooperating, providing any information, any useful information to law enforcement?

FLOCK: Absolutely no indication that he is, but there is a massive search today. And there's no indication from that search -- and it took place, centered in two different areas, both here and North Dakota, as well, across the border in Minnesota -- and there is no indication that anything he has told them they used in the search. A lot of people went out to a lot of different places, no particular areas of focus. Presumably, if he had given any kind of information, they would have focused in some way.

So, there is no indication, no evidence at this point that he's cooperating -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jeff Flock reporting for us. We'll be checking back with you, Jeff. Thanks very much.

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