More than 550 students join search for freshman Daniel Zamlen
The University of St. Thomas community searched and prayed yesterday for Daniel Zamlen, a freshman who has been missing since early Sunday, April 5.
Zamlen has not been heard from since he was talking to friends on his cell phone at about 3 a.m. Sunday. At the time, he was believed to have been walking along Mississippi River Boulevard near St. Clair Avenue.
Because Zamlen is a diabetic and uses an insulin pump, his family is concerned that he might need medical attention. The weather since his disappearance has been harsh; it snowed the first night and has been cold and windy since.
Yesterday more than 550 St. Thomas students, along with Zamlen's friends and family from northern Minnesota, conducted a grid-by-grid search of the area for any sign of the student. The search initially focused on the neighborhood within a mile from where Zamlen was last seen; as the day wore on, the search was expanded to a two-mile radius.
St. Thomas students responded by the hundreds to a call for volunteers posted on the UST Cares Web site. They showed up at the Fireside Room of Koch Commons, which served as search headquarters, and were sent out in large groups to cover assigned areas.
The campus community is encouraged to check the UST Cares Web site for information about Zamlen. You also can reach the page by clicking the button at the bottom of the St. Thomas home page. The Web site notes that the investigation continues, but student volunteers for neighborhood searches are not needed at this time.
While the students conducted their yard-by-yard search, city, county and state authorities yesterday resumed and expanded their search along the banks of the Mississippi. A state helicopter that searched the area twice on Sunday returned Monday and searched a larger area. Also on Monday, bloodhounds and other search dogs were used to check the paths and bluffs overlooking the river while a county water patrol boat checked the shoreline below.
Police and St. Thomas officials continue to emphasize that students should not search the steep banks and bluffs along the river. They are especially slippery at this time of the year and the river is swollen because of spring runoff.
Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, has asked the community to continue to pray for Daniel and his friends and family. Campus Ministry on Monday set up a spot in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas where people are welcome to come and pray for Zamlen. A vigil candle will remain burning at the side altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Cleveland side of the chapel.
Dease expressed gratitude "to the many students, faculty and staff who have reached out to the family through joining in the search, walking Buddy, the family's friendly black lab, and in so many other ways.
"The family has told me that they have been deeply moved by this community's spontaneous show of support from which they have drawn strength in this most difficult of moments," he said.
As announced to the campus community on Sunday, anyone with information is asked to contact the university's Public Safety Department at (651) 962-5555. A Bulletin Update also was e-mailed to the university community.
Zamlen, who will turn 19 tomorrow, is from Eveleth and lives in the Brady Residence Hall. He is the son of Dale and Sally Zamlen. In interviews yesterday, Dale Zamlen asked St. Paul homeowners in the area to check their yards, garages and unlocked cars for any sign of his son.
Members of Campus Ministry, Personal Counseling, Dean of Students Office, Vice President for Student Affairs Office, Public Safety, and Campus and Residence Life have continued to staff a support room in Murray-Herrick Campus Center for Zamlen's family and friends.
Members of the St. Thomas community who would like support or assistance in dealing with Zamlen’s disappearance are welcome to contact Campus Ministry, (651) 962-6560, or Personal Counseling, (651) 962-6780.