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Published January 12, 2012, 08:04 PM

Bemidji Man Found Dead in Ditch Died of Hypothermia

BEMIDJI - Police have identified the 62-year-old Bemidji man found dead Tuesday in a drainage ditch near the city’s Sanford Center.

By: Bemidji Pioneer,

BEMIDJI - Police have identified the 62-year-old Bemidji man found dead Tuesday in a drainage ditch near the city’s Sanford Center.

Allen Skiple, 62, died from hypothermia, Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin said Thursday.

Officers completed their investigation into Skiple’s death and determined there was no indication of a crime, Mastin said.

Skiple, who was last seen by neighbors on Saturday, showed no outward signs of injury, the police chief said.

“It might have been as long as three days” that Skiple was lying in the ditch, Mastin said.

On Tuesday afternoon, a dog alerted its owner, who was walking across the parking lot west of the Sanford Center, about the body. The man then notified police.

“Just passing by, you likely wouldn’t see (Skiple),” said Mastin, adding the area is sunken and hidden from view by the average passerby.

At 4:51 p.m., Bemidji police were called to the scene, where they found Skiple dead, wearing jeans and a winter jacket.

He was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Bemidji, where a doctor performed an autopsy.

Tuesday’s average temperature in Bemidji was 33 degrees.

Police were assisted by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and the Beltrami County Communications Center.

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