No foul play suspected in drowning death of Minnesota man
BRAINERD, Minn. - Drowning caused the death of 23-year-old Brandon Rich of Brainerd, whose body was recovered from Boom Lake in Kiwanis Park Saturday.
BRAINERD, Minn. – Drowning caused the death of 23-year-old Brandon Rich of Brainerd, whose body was recovered from Boom Lake in Kiwanis Park Saturday.
Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston reported the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office positively identified Rich and determined the cause of death following an autopsy. McQuiston said no foul play is suspected.
Rich, a vulnerable adult, was reported missing Thursday after he was last seen 11 p.m. Wednesday at his residence on the 800 block of South Sixth Street in Brainerd.
The body was located completely submerged in slightly more than 6 feet of water about 100 feet from shore, McQuiston reported. Boom Lake is a shallow 8-acre lake located within Kiwanis Park, which is about four blocks from Rich's home.
Police were alerted to the park area after wet clothing was found near a park building. The clothing was later positively identified as belonging to Rich. K-9 Search and Rescue teams from Central Lakes Search and Rescue and North Star Search and Rescue were instrumental in assisting authorities in locating Rich, McQuiston reported.
"We can only speculate that he went in the lake, got wet, and then decided to take his clothes off and go back in," McQuiston said by email. "He was developmentally disabled, so to try to piece together some of this might be difficult for us."
McQuiston said at the time Rich's body was discovered, the water temperature in Boom Lake was 59 degrees.
"Not knowing how long he had been in the water, it is reasonable to think that he could have succumb to hypothermia and that may have played a role in his drowning," McQuiston said.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops below 95 degrees, causing the heart, nervous system and other organs to work improperly. Hypothermia is most often caused by exposure to cold temperatures or immersion in a cold body of water. Symptoms of moderate to severe hypothermia include clumsiness or lack of coordination along with confusion and poor decisionmaking, such as removing warm clothing.
"Someone with hypothermia usually isn't aware of his or her condition because the symptoms often begin gradually," the Mayo Clinic's website states. "Also, the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness. The confused thinking can also lead to risk-taking behavior."