MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Christopher Rossing was last seen alive in the early hours of Aug. 23 as he was leaving Trouble’s Bar and Restaurant in Howard Lake. After an evening of drinking with some friends he was walking out the door with Robert Nuttall. There had been an argument between Nuttall and his girlfriend, Gwen Butcher.

Nuttall was going to walk home to Hutchinson, heading west along highway 12, with Rossing walking alongside. Surveillance video taken from the nearby Sinclair gas station shows the two men walking along the highway, interacting with a SUV around 1:26 a.m. That’s the last appearance anyone has reported of Rossing.

Bar owner Neil Jastrzebski has posted Rossing’s missing posters on his front windows and says the whole town is upset.

“I think everyone’s got a pretty good opinion that foul play is involved and something really terrible happened to Chris,” Jastrzebski said.

On Monday, Rossing’s friends gathered outside Trouble’s Bar to do yet another search. In addition to the McLeod County Sheriff’s mounted posse that has been combing fields and ditches, the friends are pleading with hunters and farmers to report anything that looks out of place.

“As they (farmers) are taking their fields down and doing things they need to do, if they keep aware and find an article of clothing, report it to the Wright County Sheriff,” Josh Hagebusch said.

On Friday, Nuttall was charged with kidnapping in connection with Rossing’s disappearance. According to Wright County investigators, a fight broke out between Nuttall and Rossing as they were walking home along Highway 12.

Nuttall’s girlfriend, Butcher, pulled up alongside the two driving a Ford Expedition. It appears Nuttall placed the injured Rossing in the backseat. Armed with a search warrant, the vehicle was impounded and investigators discovered Rossing’s blood on the seat.

A search of Nuttall’s cellphone revealed internet searches that were looking for help about how to remove or replace seats in a Ford Expedition.

After dropping Butcher off at the home they shared in rural Hutchinson, Nuttall told investigators that he drove the injured Rossing back to Howard Lake.

That is a story that both investigators and Rossing’s friends simply aren’t buying.

“A man went missing without a trace and we have no idea where he is,” Jastrzebsk said.

Butcher appeared in Wright County court on Monday and is charged with aiding an offender after the fact. Her bail was set at $150,000 without conditions.

Bill Hudson

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