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Authorities await autopsy results in WE Fest death

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Becker County authorities won't speculate on what caused the death of a 24-year-old Fargo man at WE Fest early Thursday, but say autopsy results could be ready as early as this afternoon.

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The man, who lived in Fargo and previously lived in Fosston, Minn., was found unresponsive in a motor home by family members shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday - the first day of WE Fest.

The motor home was in the Northwoods Campground, which has been designated by WE Fest as a "family" camping area with, according to the WE Fest Web site, "strictly enforced noise curfews."

"The Northwoods is all about people who have been coming here year after year," said Alex Maves, who was attending WE Fest and camping in the Northwoods.

Maves said he didn't know the deceased but said "in groups everyone knows everyone."

Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said talking about whether alcohol played a factor in the death "would be presumptuous."

Authorities responding to the emergency provided CPR on site and while the man was being transported to St. Mary's Innovis in Detroit Lakes.

The man was pronounced dead at the hospital.

WE Fest officials directed questions to the sheriff's office.

"WE Fest is unbelievably saddened by this. All questions need to be addressed to the sheriff's office," said Jayne Stauffer, media coordinator for WE Fest. "We don't know anything. It's a sheriff's matter."

Stauffer added that it's WE Fest policy that media not be allowed in campgrounds at any time, a request that is made by the guests.

A Sheriff's Department news release said the man arrived at the camping site shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday, joining his family immediately.

The sheriff's office does not suspect foul play.

The man's name is being withheld until relatives can be notified.

No other details were released Thursday.

Last year, a 17-year-old girl who died at the 10,000 Lakes Festival died from an accidental drug overdose, according to autopsy results released by the sheriff's office. Ashley Marie McCoy was found dead in a campground site at Soo Pass Ranch on July 25, 2008.

The 10,000 Lakes Festival and WE Fest are held at the Soo Pass Ranch, outside of Detroit Lakes.

There were also two deaths at the 10,000 Lakes Festival in 2007.

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