MANKATO, Minn. (WCCO) — The body of a woman who disappeared while tubing in southern Minnesota has been found and identified.
The victim is 21-year-old Jenny Mae Kraling of Mankato. The incident happened along the Blue Earth River in Rapidan, a town south of Mankato. Karling’s body was found around 7 p.m.
Police said they aren’t sure if she’d been drinking and added that her body was found just yards from where she went missing. According to authorities, she was with three men when she went under and it’s not clear if she got off her tube on purpose, or if she fell in.
“The stronger current from the moving water is a contributing factor,” said Chief Deputy Mike Maurer, of Blue Earth County police. He added that the lack of a life jacket also contributed to the death.
Police said the currents were dangerous because of recent rain.
Mike Dombroske, who initially called 911 after seeing Kraling go under water for nearly a minute, said a man told Kraling a number of times that she was getting too close to the current.
“She’d come up and was hanging on the tube with them; then she swam away a little bit again,” Dombroske said. “The…they couldn’t get to her in time.”
Dombrokse said the men tried to help.
“I’ve seen close calls,” he said. “And I haven’t ever seen anything happen like this.”
KEYC News Director Dan Ruiter said at least five departments assisted in the search for the woman.
Ruiter said that stretch of the river is popular for canoeists and kayakers, but not necessarily tubers.