Aerial, ground searches turn up nothing on missing northeastern Minnesota boy, fatherAuthorities still don’t know where James Nordrum Jr. is more than a week after he allegedly abducted his 7-year-old son Wyatt after a judge awarded sole custody of the boy to his mother.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Aerial and ground searches in recent days of properties owned by the father and grandfather of a missing boy have turned up no new leads, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday.
Authorities still don’t know where James Nordrum Jr. is more than a week after he allegedly abducted his 7-year-old son Wyatt after a judge awarded sole custody of the boy to his mother.
Nordrum, 41, of Brookston, was supposed to hand the boy over to authorities on March 27. But neither has been seen or heard from since, said Lt. Jason Lukovsky, who is leading the investigation for the sheriff’s office.
Lukovsky said Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officers on the ground and a DNR aircraft helped check neighboring hunting shacks and properties near both James Nordrum Jr.’s land in the Brookston area west of Duluth as well as the home and property and neighboring properties of James Nordrum Sr. in Perch Lake Township in Carlton County.
“We just wanted to make sure he wasn’t somewhere out there close by, and we’re pretty sure now that he’s not,” Lukovsky said.
Authorities issued a statewide crime alert last week about the missing boy and his father. A warrant has been issued for Nordrum’s arrest.
So far authorities haven’t traced any cell phone or credit card activity to Nordrum and don’t even know what kind of vehicle he may have used to flee the area. Nordrum’s and his family’s vehicles have been accounted for, Lukovsky said. Officers are following a possible lead from central Minnesota where the man and boy may have been spotted last week. That lead might offer a vehicle description “but other than that, we just don’t have any real good information,” Lukovsky said.
“If we can get a vehicle description we have something more we can get out there to the media and the public and to other law enforcement agencies to go on,” he said. “We really don’t want people to forget these faces. We want to keep this out there so someone recognizes them.”
Nordrum’s family is cooperating with officers but say they have not heard from him. Because James Nordrum was close to his family “the fact he hasn’t tried to reach out to them is concerning to us,” Lukovsky said.
The boy’s parents have been involved in a custody battle since January 2011, with both receiving sole custody at various times through court orders.
Candice Nordrum, the boy’s mother, is originally from Fort Frances, Ontario, and returned there when she asked for the divorce because, a complaint she filed says, she feared for her safety. Police said last week that James Nordrum may have health issues and threatened to harm the boy if he lost custody.