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Minnesota students mourning death of classmate who police say fled rural party

MADISON, Minn. — Students and friends at the Dawson-Boyd High School are mourning the death of classmate Michael Anyasike on Sunday.

The Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Office confirmed this morning that Michael Chinedu Anyasike, 18, was pronounced dead Sunday at the Madison Hospital.

A prayer service was held for Anyasike at Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson on Sunday evening. The Dawson-Boyd Schools created a memory wall for Anasike in the school today, and students are posting their rememberances on social media sites. The school has brought in grief counselors and clergy to help students cope with the death of the popular student.

The Dawson community will be providing emotional support for his surviving family, according to Terry Overlander, a Dawson resident who lost his daughter in a automobile accident 10 years ago. Overlander visited with Anyasike's father, Dr. Michael Anyasike, M.D. Dr. Anyasike currently practices medicine in Marhsall, but formerly was with the medical clinic in Dawson. Dr. Anyasike and his wife, Irene, and two sons and a daughter continue to make Dawson their home, in large part because their children have enjoyed being part of the school district, said Overlander.

Anyasike was reported as a missing person on Sunday at 12:06 p.m., according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Officers had responded at 12:28 a.m. to a report of a possible party where underage individuals were consuming alcohol at a rural residence east of Madison.

The officers found about 20 vehicles parked there. Some individuals fled as officers arrived.

The Sheriff’s Office said the victim was reported to have been at the party.

Later, it was confirmed that the missing person was one of the individuals who had fled the farm site, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A search of the surrounding area and farm sites was conducted. During the course of the search, Anyasike was found and transported by the Madison Ambulance to the Madison Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Football coach Corey Larson told the Marshall Independent that Anyasike was someone who “always had a smile on his face.’’

The matter remains under investigation.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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