Crime, Law and Justice

20 years after Josh Guimond’s disappearance, Stearns County releases new information

Josh Guimond
Josh Guimond disappeared from the campus of St. John's University in November 2002.
MPR News file photos

On Nov. 9, 2002, Joshua Guimond, a 20-year-old college student, left a small party at an apartment on the campus of St. John’s University, and was never seen again.

Friends assumed he’d walked back to his dormitory. When Guimond didn’t show up for a mock trial team practice the next day, a search for answers began that’s continued for two decades.

With the 20th anniversary of Guimond’s disappearance approaching, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office has released new information in the unsolved case, including a series of photos found on Guimond’s computer.

Sheriff Steve Soyka said they're asking for the public's help in identifying the people in the photos in hopes that one of them may be able to provide clues to what happened to Josh.

"These are people that we've exhausted all other resources to try and identify,” Soyka said. “So we thought we'd ask for the public's help in this manner, to try and identify who these people are."

A composite image of portraits
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office released images that were found on Joshua Guimond’s computer after his disappearance from St. John’s University in 2002. The sheriff’s office said learning the identities of the individuals may be helpful to the investigation. Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 320-259-3700 or submit a tip through its website.
Courtesy Stearns County Sheriff's Office

He said investigators don’t know why the photos were on the computer, or why they were saved. 

There’s been renewed interest in the case surrounding the 20th anniversary of Guimond’s disappearance. A recent episode of the Netflix show "Unsolved Mysteries” featured the case.

Soyka said his office participated in the show with the hopes of sparking new interest in the case and generating new leads that might further the investigation. He said investigators have received numerous tips since the photos and show were released.

Over the years, there have been multiple theories about what might have happened to Guimond. Investigators initially believed that he may have drowned in a lake on campus, but his body was never found after several searches.

One theory suggested by “Unsolved Mysteries” is that Guimond may have been chatting with men online, and could have gone to meet someone on the night he was last seen. Soyka said investigators haven’t ruled out that scenario.

“We're open to all kinds of possibilities,” he said. “A college kid typically just doesn't disappear from the campus.”

Soyka said he’s still hopeful that the case can be solved, but as more time passes, it gets more challenging.

Anyone who recognizes someone in the photos or knows anything about Guimond’s disappearance is asked to contact the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office investigations department at 320-259-3700, or submit a tip online.

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