Southeast Minnesota authorities hunt for bodies after wreckWINONA, Minn. - Two dive teams used underwater cameras to search the Mississippi River near Winona on Monday, hunting for bodies of two men who may have gone into the water early Sunday in an accident that claimed two other lives.
By: Don Davis, Forum News Service, INFORUM
WINONA, Minn. - Two dive teams used underwater cameras to search the Mississippi River near Winona on Monday, hunting for bodies of two men who may have gone into the water early Sunday in an accident that claimed two other lives.
Bodies of the driver and her front-seat passenger were found belted in the sports utility vehicle Sunday afternoon.
"We're not sure" if the two men who had been seen in the vehicle were in it when it went into the river, Chief Winona County Deputy Sheriff Chief Ron Ganrude said Monday.
"Last evening, we spent a lot of time talking to family and friends of everyone who we feel is involved in this," he said. "There are two people still unaccounted for at this point."
The sheriff's office has not released names of the two men being sought, one from Winona and one from La Crosse, Wis. They are in their late 20s.
"Four people left the bar at the same time and two of those people were seat belted in and the bodies recovered..." Ganrude said. "They had been together and one of their vehicles was found parked in downtown Winona, and we haven't been able to make contact with them."
The deputy said that since authorities have not located the two elsewhere, they must assume the men were in the car when it went into the river.
Those found in the vehicle Sunday were Christina Lee Hauser, 36, of Winona, and Matthew Patrick Erickson, 30, of Chatfield, Minn. An underwater camera was used to locate the vehicle, and a diver hooked it up to be pulled from the water.
Authorities say the vehicle apparently went into the river early Sunday, but it was not until several hours later that a passerby saw tracks leading to the water and called 911.
The vehicle was going around a sharp turn when it left the road.
Hauser, Erickson and the two missing men, whose names were not released, were seen at several bars Saturday night.