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Officers found LaDue in a storage locker with bomb-making materials. They confiscated chemicals, several guns, ammunition and ball bearings, some at the locker and some at his home.
LaDue is technically in the custody of the Waseca County Sheriff’s Office while he awaits court action, but because Waseca doesn’t have its own juvenile facility, he’s being housed in Red Wing through an understanding with the state.
A Department of Corrections spokeswoman would not comment on specific cases, but said in an e-mail: “Youth placed at Red Wing receive adequate mental health care based on their level of need. The court maintains authority over the placement of the youth. If their needs exceed what can be provided, the courts would likely place them in a mental health facility.”
Parents look for help
David and Stephanie LaDue said that their son has never been diagnosed with a mental illness and that they knew nothing of his dark thoughts until after police came knocking at their door with a search warrant on April 29.
Last week, the couple visited a Twin Cities psychologist in hopes of paying for the psychologist to give their son regular treatment while he’s awaiting trial.
David LaDue said that he and his wife want to get their son full-time counseling “while everybody’s waiting to decide what to do with him.”
The LaDues told their son on their first visit that they would love him unconditionally, Stephanie LaDue said, and they believe he is in a better emotional state than when he was scribbling his horrific plans in a notebook that he kept hidden in a locked guitar case.
Now that he’s been caught, they said, they believe their son feels unburdened from years of hiding his dark thoughts.
“I’ve seen more emotion out of him since we’ve been visiting than we have in quite a while,” David LaDue said. “The glass case he’s built for himself has cracked all around.”
John has asked them for help, too, they said.
“He’s been saying, ‘I want counseling’ and ‘medicate me,’ ” his mother said.
They believe they could provide him with more help than the judicial system has a budget for — if they’re allowed to do it.
“I thank God that he was interrupted or caught and this was brought to our attention,” David LaDue said. “It’s not like we want John to come home and pretend nothing happened. … We want him to become a responsible and contributing person.”
Pam Louwagie • 612-673-7102