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Published February 15, 2012, 10:12 PM

Authorities release Alfonso Rodriguez interrogation tapes

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Eight years after the heinous homicide of Dru Sjodin, we take a chilling look back at the day she disappeared. We revisit interrogation tapes, listening to the suspect officially being questioned at the Crookston police station.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

Eight years after the heinous homicide of Dru Sjodin, we take a chilling look back at the day she disappeared. We revisit interrogation tapes, listening to the suspect officially being questioned at the Crookston police station.

Alfonso Rodriguez, Junior is sitting on death row, awaiting execution. His final appeal may take three years. Tonight, we hear from him during one of the first times he spoke to authorities - November 26th, 2003.

Just four days after UND student Dru Sjodin vanished from a Grand Forks mall, authorities narrow in on suspect, Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.

Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.: “I haven't seen her before in my life.”

Two state investigators sat down with the sex offender, three times that day. These unsealed tapes, from those interrogations. You can hear homicide detectives, staying calm, befriending the flustered felon at first.

Investigators: “Go ahead and take your coat off and stay a little while. We'll do the best job to clear you as a suspect.”

The soft spoken suspect sounds confused, not sure what to say, when caught in a sea of lies.

Investigators: “Your movie wasn't there. I'm not finding you on the McDonald's video either.

Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.: “I don't know why I can't remember.”

The interrogation heats up. Investigators hit him hard on his lax time frame, putting him at the crime scen, a place the criminal admits being at, just not at the time of the crime.

Investigators: “That basically puts you leaving right in the same time that this girl was leaving.”

Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.: “I know I wasn't at the mall when this girl was abducted.”

Investigators: “How do you know that?”

Alfonso Rodriguez: “Because I left.”

Rodriguez tries to clear his name, but authorities are quick to question him to help the search for Sjodin's body, hoping he won't catch on.

Investigators: “Do you ever go Highway 2 to the 75 bypass and around that way?”

Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr.: “Sometimes I do, but most of the time I take the 220.”

Sjodin's body would be found near Crookston, five months later. Rodriguez was arrested five days after that interview. He was then convicted in 2006 of Sjodin's kidnapping, rape, and murder.

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