Weather Forecast


Crews search Wild Rice River for missing NDSCS student

Mike Knorr leads his trained cadaver dog, Scupper, as they search Tuesday northwest of Wahpeton, N.D., on the Wild Rice River for missing North Dakota State College of Science student Andrew Sadek, of Rogers, N.D. (Dave Wallis / Forum News Service )

WAHPETON, N.D. — Scupper the Golden Retriever stood alert on the bow of a flat-bottom boat Tuesday afternoon on the Wild Rice River. He was trying to pick up a scent, but a stiff breeze complicated his efforts.

“Today is a poor day for working the dog because of the amount of wind,” said Pete Fendt, a Valley Water Rescue team member who took a turn in the bow, probing the brown waters with a long pole, to no avail.

It was another day of unsuccessful searching for 20-year-old Andrew Sadek, a North Dakota State College of Science student last seen about 2 a.m. Thursday leaving his dormitory, Norgaard Hall. Since then, no sign of him has been found.

On Tuesday, the water search was focused near a bridge that carries 78th Street Southeast over the Wild Rice River, about 2 1/2 miles west of Wahpeton’s Walmart. NDSCS spokeswoman Barbara Spaeth-Baum said investigators had no new leads Tuesday, but crews were searching that stretch of the river to make sure nothing had been missed.

Although Scupper is specifically trained to detect human remains, there’s still hope Sadek will be found alive. At a news conference Monday, his parents, John and Tammy Sadek from the Rogers, N.D., area, pleaded for their son to come home.

The Sadek family has experienced difficult times before. In 2005, the couple’s other son, Nicholas Sadek, was killed at the age of 18, along with another teen, when a train hit the pickup they were riding in near Rogers.

Authorities have said there’s been nothing to explain why Andrew Sadek disappeared. His friends say he was set to graduate May 16.

Across the country, there are more than 9,900 open missing person cases, according to a database kept by the U.S. Department of Justice. The database lists 147 in Minnesota and 28 in North Dakota, not including Andrew Sadek’s case.