Reward increased to $10,000 as volunteers, police continue search for freshman Daniel Zamlen

The $5,000 reward for information that could help find missing University of St. Thomas freshman Daniel Zamlen increased to $10,000 yesterday. The search for Zamlen, meanwhile, continued this week in neighborhoods surrounding the university and along the Mississippi River.

Zamlen, 19, has not been heard from since he was talking to friends on his cell phone shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday, April 5. At the time, he was believed to have been walking along Mississippi River Boulevard near St. Clair Avenue.

More than 1,000 volunteers have helped with the neighborhood search that is being conducted with cooperation of the Zamlen family, St. Paul Police Department and the university. Of that number, about three-quarters have been students and volunteers from the Twin Cities; the remainder have journeyed down in cars and buses from Duluth and the Iron Range. Dan is the son of Dale and Sally Zamlen of Eveleth.

The volunteers have been going door to door within a two-mile radius, or more, from where he was last seen. The search area runs from the freeway on the north, Snelling Avenue on the east, the Mississippi River on the west and Ford Parkway on the south.

Starting today, volunteers will search in parks along the river and throughout the area.

Students who would like to help are asked to check in at the search operations center located in Room 154 of Murray-Herrick Campus Center. Students are asked to not skip classes, but to plan searches around their class schedules. The center is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Food and beverages are available in the atrium just outside Room 154.

Volunteers from off campus and out of town who would like to help should call the center at (651) 962-6129.

All those interested in helping are asked to be sure to first check with the search operations center for directions and instructions.

Earlier this week, water patrol officers from Hennepin, Washington and Ramsey counties were using boats to search along the river. Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton, a St. Thomas graduate, responded to a request for help in the search. The St. Paul Police Missing Persons unit is continuing its investigation. Tuesday, officers were using metal detectors along the river banks, between Summit and St. Clair avenues, to search for Zamlen’s missing cell phone.

Police have asked volunteers not to search the steep river bank. However, with police cooperation, the spring clean-up along the river that has been sponsored annually for many years by the St. Thomas Green Team and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be held as planned. The clean-up will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 18. Those participating in the clean-up will be given instructions at the site that day and will be asked to look for Zamlen’s missing phone.

Since his disappearance, Zamlen’s family has held daily or nearly daily meetings with St. Paul Police and other officials for updates about the investigation. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief John Harrington attended the family meeting on the St. Thomas campus yesterday afternoon.

Also yesterday, a prayer service for Zamlen was held 12:30 p.m. in the Florance Chapel, located in the lower level of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas. "It has been one week since we gathered in prayer last Wednesday, April 8, on Dan’s birthday," Father Erich Rutten, director of Campus Ministry, said yesterday. "We will continue to pray each Wednesday."

Dale and Sally Zamlen yesterday spoke before a House committee at the Minnesota Capitol about a bill from GOP House Minority Leader Marty Seifert to change Minnesota’s missing persons laws. The bill calls for faster and more aggressive searches when young adults are reported missing.

In addition to the UST Cares Web site, information about the search can be found at finddan.org, Facebook and Twitter.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the university’s Public Safety Department at (651) 962-5555.