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Body of 26-year-old Fargo man recovered from water-filled gravel pit near Felton

Body recovered from water-filled gravel pit

By Wendy Reuer / Forum News Service

FELTON, Minn. – Rescue crews recovered the body of a 26-year-old Fargo man believed to have drowned Thursday night while swimming illegally in a water-filled gravel pit near here.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said the body of the man was recovered about 9 p.m.

Bergquist said the man was swimming with about five friends in the southeast corner of the gravel pit when he disappeared under the water.

A friend called 911 about 7:30 p.m. saying he had not seen his friend for about 20 minutes.

“He went down, popped back up, and then went down again,” Bergquist said. “His friends never saw him again.”

After about an hour and a half search, a diver found the man’s body not far from where he was last seen, below the surface of the water.

Bergquist said Thursday he was not sure how deep the water is where the man was found, but the pit is believed to run 90 to 100 feet deep, he said.

The incident happened in the area of 160th Avenue North and 190th Street on private mining lands known as the “Felton Pitts,” Bergquist said.

The water is very clear, but colder than a lake, he said.

The group, some also from the Fargo area, was at the pits illegally. Bergquist said.

Although the area is clearly marked “no trespassing,” Bergquist said deputies routinely patrol the pits and find swimmers and fisherman.

“It is an active gravel pit,” he said.

Bergquist said the group in this incident will not be cited.

The man’s identity was not released Thursday night pending notification of family.

The body will be sent to Ramsey County for an autopsy.

Bergquist said it is not known if alcohol was involved in the incident.

Cass county rescue crews – along with crews from Ulen, Felton, Hawley, Glyndon and Moorhead fire – were on scene. Valley Water Rescue assisted in the rescue.

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