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Text sent from missing northern Minn. boy's cell phone; case gets national TV attention

The Nordrum missing-child case went national Thursday night as cable television's Headline News and host Nancy Grace put the spotlight on James Nordrum Jr. and his son Wyatt -- missing for 11 days now.

Grace spoke to a cousin on the father's side of the family and the maternal grandfather of the boy, Randy Wilde. She also spoke with St. Louis County Deputy Lt. Jason Lukovsky.

Because of the nature of the show, none of the guests got to say much of significance. The only new item revealed came from Nordrum's cousin, Amy Hill, who said the family received a text message from Wyatt's cell phone several days ago stating: "Hello, how are things going?"

Hill said there has been no other contact with the two.

Lukovsky said he learned about the text Thursday morning, and investigators are checking on the source of the text, which was allegedly sent midday Tuesday. He said the 7-year-old boy has a cell phone because of the ongoing custody and visitation issues between his father and mother, Candice.

Investigators also expect to see some video today from the East Bethel area west of Minneapolis. That's where a sighting of the pair was reported but has yet to be confirmed.

Candice lives in Canada, where her parents live and she grew up. She was granted custody of Wyatt last month after the attorneys for both parents came to an agreement. Nordrum was supposed to drop Wyatt off at the St. Louis County Courthouse on March 27 but did not show.

Police issued a statewide alert for the father and son and haven't heard from them since.

Ground and aerial searches were done this week on the properties owned by Wyatt's father and grandfather in the Brookston area. Nothing was found to aid in the search.

There have been no financial transactions or cell phone calls to aid in the investigation, police said.

Lukovsky said speaking on the Nancy Grace show wasn't ideal, especially after he learned that his remarks would be sandwiched by comments from both sides in a heated custody battle. But he's hoping the national exposure will help in the investigation.

"It got the pictures out there," he said of the show that had photos of the boy and father up on the screen during most of the show. "That was my only motivation."