MINNEAPOLIS — On Nov. 9, 2002, at around midnight, St. John's University student Josh Guimond had about a three-minute walk from a student apartment, where he was drinking with friends, back to his dorm — but he never made it.
His body was never found and the case remains active, continuing to be investigated by the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.
But now, after almost 20 years, a Minneapolis attorney is determined to help.
"I mean, I've been interested in missing person cases since Jacob Wetterling," said Josh Newville.
"The investigation into what happened to Josh Guimond has revealed very little fruitful information in 20 years," Newville said. "I think most of the attention has been driven to the idea that he got drunk and fell into a lake, which is absurd."
Authorities focused on the small lake Guimond would have had to walk past to get home. But that lake, in addition to other bodies of water, were thoroughly searched in the years that followed.
Newville says focusing on that theory allowed time to pass without looking at other leads.
"Which is this idea that he may have been attacked," Newville said.
Guimond's father has long suspected foul play. Newville said his podcast will show new evidence that Guimond met up with someone that night, something happened — and he never returned.
Newville said the podcast will also show evidence there were a number of instances in that time period in 2002 where men targeted other men on the St. John's campus.
In the first episode, Newville reveals a more thorough examination of Guimond's computer than was initially done, which turned up new evidence. Newville is passing all of of his findings on to police, hoping the effort finally leads to solving the case.
"We are begging the public to listen and give us any information they have about what we're going to talk about," Newville said.
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office has already met with Newville and is supportive of his podcast. They have new investigators on the case than they did 20 years ago, and confirm they no longer are focusing on a theory that Guimond drowned.
"I can’t rule out anything," said Investigative Sgt. Zach Sorenson. "But are there better leads? Absolutely. And our efforts now have been concentrated away from the water."
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office takes tips at 320-251-4240, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next episode of "Simply Vanished" comes out Monday, June 27. It will be followed by new episodes every other week.
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