This Month’s Featured Case
Joshua Cheney Guimond
In my search for information about some of the missing college students I have blogged about recently, I have found many college-age men missing. It’s actually quite shocking to me as I wonder how much is too much for a percentage to be just pure coincidence.
This Month’s Featured Case is about one of those young men. Within two weeks after Halloween in 2002, three college-aged men went missing in a relatively small area of one another.
Chris Jenkins disappeared Halloween night in 2002. Jenkins, 21, was last seen alive at the Lone Tree Bar in Minneapolis. He was a senior and co-captain and goalie of the lacrosse team at the University of Minnesota. At the time of his disappearance he was wearing an American Indian costume. Jenkins left the bar alone in the early hours and some reports state he could have been thrown out of the bar and not allowed back in. His body was found four months later along the Mississippi River. His death was later determined to be a homicide.
Three days after Jenkins, 80 miles east on I-94, Michael Noll, a senior at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, disappeared after leaving a college bar. Noll was last seen leaving Nasty Habit Saloon on Water Street between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. November 6, 2002 after celebrating his 22nd birthday. Like Jenkins, he too left the bar alone in the early hours of the morning intoxicated. Reports state Noll subsequently walked into the house of a neighbor, who told him to leave. His baseball cap was found on her lawn. His body would be later found in the Chippewa River. Noll’s death is believed to be from an apparent drowning but others believe he was murdered.
Then there was the third. 20-year-old Joshua Cheney Guimond was a Junior and honor student at St John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. On November 9, 2002 Josh attended a small gathering with some friends at Metten Court on the north end of the St. John’s University campus. The last time anyone saw Josh was around 11:00PM that evening. According to reports, he left to go to the bathroom and never returned.
When he did not return, his friends assumed he walked back to his apartment which would have been a three minute walk. They called but received no answer and assumed he had gone to bed. However, when Josh failed to attend a school function the following day and there was no sign of him, his friends reported him missing.
Josh Guimond’s car was found on campus undisturbed. All his belongings including credit cards and eyeglasses were found in his apartment. At the time of his disappearance, Josh was not wearing a winter jacket nor was he dressed for the cold temperatures of November. Josh had vanished without a trace.
Once Again – Connections or Coincidence?
Many linked these three cases together, as the improbability of so many disappearances in such a short period of time and in such a small area seemed slim. All three men were around the same age, height and build. Their schools — the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, St. John’s University in Collegeville and the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire — all lie close to Interstate Highway 94.
Josh’s family maintains that he would never disappear on his own and friends spoke of him in high regard and Josh’s roommate described him as a ”brilliant student of the law. Fellow band geek. Shrewd politician. A young man with the brightest of futures”. According to all that knew him, Josh had dreams of going to law school one day, had a bright future ahead of him and would never take off on his own nor take his own life.
Authorities however believe that Josh may have been intoxicated and fallen into a body of water and drowned. Neither his body nor any evidence of that has ever been found.
Another theory is that Josh committed suicide. He and his girlfriend of five years had recently broken up. She states that the two had remained friends.
Paul Cheney, Joshua Guimond’s uncle, said he saw similarities in the disappearances. ‘‘Josh and Chris Jenkins look a lot alike,” Mr. Cheney said. ‘‘The three boys have the same build, same height, same coloring. Josh is about 5 feet 10, 170 pounds, with an athletic build. All were well-known on campus, outgoing, bright kids with good grade point averages.”
Where it Stands
The death of Chris Jenkins has never been solved. Joshua Guimond remains missing. The Jenkins family hired a private investigator soon after their son disappeared. Originally when Chris’ body was found, the case had been ruled a drowning. However in 2006, police held a press conference and apologized to the Jenkins family and officially ruled his death a homicide. His case remains open.
Michael Noll’s death was thought to be a drowning but there has been no evidence to conclude what happened the night that he went missing.
The family of Josh Guimond continue the search for their son. On a website devoted to finding their son they state:
Josh did not leave of his own free will. He was without his car, glasses or a coat warm enough for the weather. None of his credit cards have been used and there has been no contact with any friends or family members since that day. Please be on the look-out for Josh. Please let us know if you see him or if you know anything related to his disappearance which might help us find him.