All-American Keeper Disappeared Halloween Night
By E-Lacrosse Staff
Christopher Jenkins, the University of Minnesota lacrosse team co-captain and star goalkeeper has been missing since Halloween night and his family and friends suspect foul play. Jenkins, 21, was last seen around 12 midnight at the Lone Tree Bar & Grill in Minneapolis by friends and his girlfriend. It is believed that the senior academic All-American and Honorable Mention USLIA All-American had been drinking and was intoxicated. It has been rumored that the Bar may have kicked him out at about that time but that cannot be confirmed. Jenkins was wearing a Native American costume, but his girlfriend was holding his wallet, keys and cell phone for him, so he had no money or ID in his possession.
Jenkins was missed by his friends and girlfriend that evening, believing that he would never just leave them at a bar approximately 2 miles from campus. But the next morning when they realized that he had not made it back to his bed that evening, they began worrying about the former Eden Prairie High School star athlete. Friday, his parents were called in Burlington, Wisconsin, about 350 miles from Minneapolis, and they jumped into action.
A web site and message board has been established to help in the search
Police were not convinced that Christopher was really missing at that point, but his family and teammates set up a headquarters at a local hotel and began coordinating a search. Over 200 people a day showed up to help in the effort, according to Chris' friend and Minnetonka High School coach Ian Flam. "We started searching on Saturday, checking every riverbank, park, empty warehouse and even dumpsters, hoping not to find the worst." Flam, who also owns the first lacrosse dedicated retail store in the Minneapolis area knew Jenkins well and said that the standout athlete and student would never play a joke like this and would not have even left his girlfriend behind at the bar. "He was a senior at the Carlson School of Management, one of the best in the country. He lived for lacrosse though. He just loved the game. He was a responsible guy who got too drunk and ended up on the street outside the bar as far as we can tell. He could have walked home but the path he would have had to follow is not all that safe and crosses the Mississippi river at one point. That's why we checked the riverbanks but we think something happened to him in the neighborhood where the bar is."
Chris with his family earlier this year
If Christopher was, in fact, attacked in the Hennepin Avenue area of downtown Minnesota, where the Lone Tree Bar & Grill is located, it wouldn't be the first time for a University of Minnesota student. Brandon Hall, a 19 year-old Golden Gopher football player from Detroit was shot dead on a street in the area just last month. Minnesota's lacrosse coach, Christopher Larsen hopes that's just a coincidence and that Jenkins is ok, but he also knows that the more time passes, the worse the news may eventually be. "That's why we have been searching so hard. I've heard that a very large percentage of the people reported missing are actually found so we have hope, but the overwhelming feeling here is that Chris met foul play that evening." Coach Larsen, in his tenth year at the helm of the lacrosse program is also working with Jenkins' parents, Steve and Jan, to keep people, especially the media, looking for Chris. Jenkins' picture has been on TV and in the local papers, but the publicity effort to find the player has been overshadowed by the news cycle surrounding the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone and the subsequent replacement on the ticket by Walter Mondale and the election on Tuesday which hung on the Minnesota race.
Chris on Halloween Night in the costume he was wearing when he vanished
A vigil was held this Wednesday evening at the University and hundreds of people attended. But the vigil was not to mourn Chris and give up on the search. The theme was "Bring him home" and the sentiment is that someone, somewhere knows something and they need to be found. Police have become much more involved over the last two days and have even asked the zealous search parties to be careful asking around the city for the sake of their own safety, perhaps an indication that foul play is now suspected by officials, as well.
Chris has short blonde hair and blue eyes. He's 5'8" and 185 pounds. He was last seen wearing the Native American costume above. If you have any information on the disappearance or location of Chris Jenkins, the family asks that you call 612-333-4646, extension 628, or call 911 if in Minnesota.
From the Chris Jenkins Message Board
"I am overwhelmed by how helpful and amazing everyone has been. I cannot express enough gratitude on behalf of the family. Chris has touched all of us in his special way, which I'm sure involved a few jokes along the way and his infectious laugh and smile. It warms my heart like nothing you can imagine to know that all of you love and are loved by Chris thus are loved by us. Thanks to all of you and GOD BLESS. Keep smiling, Jenks would want you to! If you want to help please refer to the website for phone numbers to call." - Sarah Jenkins (Chris' sister)
November 7, 2002