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Boyfriend recounts his final talk with Sjodin

Dru Sjodin experienced a moment of joy just minutes before she was abducted from a Grand Forks, N.D., shopping mall parking lot, according to witness testimony Tuesday at the federal trial of her accused assailant, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.

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Dru Sjodin experienced a moment of joy just minutes before she was abducted from a Grand Forks, N.D., shopping mall parking lot, according to witness testimony Tuesday at the federal trial of her accused assailant, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.

Jane Am-undson said she was working at Marshall Field's in the Columbia Mall on Nov. 22, 2003, when she sold a high-end Coach purse to Sjodin at a clearance price of $137.97, which was reduced even more by a 10 percent discount and a $20 gift certificate.

"It was a good price. She (Sjodin) was happy to be getting it," Amundson said.

Moments after buying the purse, Sjodin was on her cell phone telling her boyfriend, Chris Lang, about the deal when the conversation came to an abrupt end.

"She uttered a few words and the phone cut out," Lang said from the witness stand.

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He said he heard something like "OK, OK," but he couldn't be sure of Sjodin's last words to him.

"It kind of came out of nowhere," he said.

He said he received a call from Sjodin's phone about three hours later but heard only wind and what sounded like someone randomly pressing the phone's keypad.

Terry Bayne, who was a 911 dispatcher in 2003, said authorities began hunting for Sjodin that same evening after getting a call from one of her friends.

With phone company help he said it was determined that the last call from Sjodin's phone came from a transmitting tower near Crookston.

He was told by a phone company representative that Sjodin's phone remained on and transmitting to the tower throughout the night and was still transmitting when his shift ended the next morning at 7 a.m.

University of North Dakota police officer Lt. Don Rasmuson testified he discovered Sjodin's car in the mall parking lot about 11 p.m. the night she disappeared.

He also found a black nylon knife sheath near the rear of the car on the driver's side and what looked like a Marshall Field's shopping bag in the backseat behind the driver's seat.

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Testimony indicated the driver's door was locked but the passenger side door was unlocked.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to a charge of kidnapping resulting in death. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Robert Hoy, one of his attorney's, said Monday prosecutors will not be able to prove elements necessary to convict Rodriguez of that crime.

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