Vigil held for missing college student

Published 10:24 am Monday, October 26, 2015

STARBUCK — Residents of a small  community in Pope County gathered at a vigil to pray for the safe return of a hometown teen.

Luminaries flickered Sunday night at a park along the Lake Minnewaska in Starbuck where local citizens held out hope 18-year-old Laura Schwendemann would return unharmed. The University of Minnesota-Morris freshman has been missing for nearly two weeks.

Investigators said she was last seen getting gas in Alexandria Oct. 14 and appeared to be heading somewhere with a man known to her. According to a press release, authorities said the man is not a person of interest in the disappearance.

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Officials have searched parts of southern Douglas County and northern Pope County, but there has been no sign of the woman.