BEMIDJI, Minn. — The family of a missing Redby, Minn., woman plans to conduct a ground search, possibly this week, once an area of interest is more clearly defined.
Rose Downwind, 31, was last seen in Bemidji on Oct. 21, and the Bemidji Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension believe foul play was involved. Downwind is described as an American Indian woman, 5 feet 4 inches and 115 pounds with long, straight dark hair. She was last seen wearing a blue sweater and black pants leaving a residence on Stoner Avenue in southeast Bemidji.
The investigation has since focused north of Bemidji to include Lake Bemidji State Park and Buena Vista State Forest.
Dwa Weston, family spokesperson and Downwind’s cousin, said a family search was held Sunday, which involved going to Bemidji State Park and speaking with the rangers. The search was led by Downwind’s grandfather and American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks.
“We’re working on this every day and we are planning on bringing in bloodhounds,” Weston said. “We want to define the area more. We want to do that before we bring in a big amount of folks for a larger search.
“We’re waiting on some developments in the hopes to narrow the search. Right now, it’s just so vast, nearly 65 square miles,” said Weston. “There are some things we have to do before the big searches.”
The searches Weston is speaking about could still happen this week, though, as the family is hoping to conduct one in the next few days.
“We’re actually not too far off,” Weston said. “It could be this week yet. If it’s not, we’re going to do it on the weekend for sure.”
Despite hopes a clue or clues would turn up this past weekend because of the number of sportsmen out during the deer hunting season opener, Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin said Monday that the last few days yielded no new results for the department.
Mastin said the investigation continues; however, there’s no law enforcement search scheduled at this time. Additionally, Mastin said the department did several aerial searches last week with the assistance of the Minnesota State Patrol.
Last week, police also named Marchello Anthony Cimmarusti, 40 and Christopher John Davis, 27 as persons of interest in Downwind’s disappearance. Police have spoken with both men; however, the agency is requesting information from anyone who may have seen the two between Oct. 19-29.
Officials are also seeking information regarding a 2002 GMC Yukon vehicle with the Minnesota license plate of 325-MGP during that time period.
Weston also made a plea Tuesday to anyone who may still be withholding valuable information.
“I want to stress that people please come forward,” Weston said. “This is too small of a town for people to not know anything. There’s somebody that knows something. Even if one of these guys just sent you a Facebook message during that time, we need to know that, it could be something very crucial.”
A $10,000 reward has been offered for information about Downwind’s disappearance, the funds donated by reality television bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman, who has been in contact with Banks.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bemidji Police Department at 218-333-9111.
A Facebook page, Help Find Rose Downwind, has been set up by the family to provide updates. A donation page at the fundraising website GoFundMe has also been established to help with expenses for Downwind’s five children and can be visited at www.gofundme.com/gz7zz3pg
Property owners in the area are also asked to check their structures and land for suspicious activity such as trespassing, a recent fire or disturbed ground.