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Wayne Toenyan

Little Sandy Lake drowning remains under investigation

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

The circumstances surrounding the death of Wayne Paul Toenyan, 45, of Bemidji, remain under investigation.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said Wednesday that autopsy results are pending.

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Toenyan died after the boat he was in apparently capsized Sunday evening on Little Sandy Lake in Roosevelt Township.

The sheriff's office said Wednesday that 76-year-old Lawrence Toenyan of Bemidji stayed with the capsized canoe and was rescued by a resident.

But his 45-year-old son Wayne Toenyan was found by deputies in about five feet of water and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The senior Toenyan was taken to North Country Regional Hospital and treated for hypothermia.

Hodapp said it is not known for certain what caused the boat to capsize.

A fishnet also was recovered in the water, Hodapp said, so it has been speculated that the 12-foot boat, which was "tippy" to begin with, may have capsized when someone reached over its side to retrieve a fish.

But that has not been confirmed, Hodapp said.

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