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Medical Examiner: Wis. Girl Died Of Accidental Drowning

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MINNNEAPOLIS (WCCO)– A preliminary autopsy report determined that a 3-year-old girl, found dead Wednesday, died of accidental drowning, according to the Burnett County Medical Examiner.

Authorities are now trying to determine if 3-year-old Reena Williams fell into a canal near her Danbury, Wis., home. Chief Medical Examiner Mike Maloney says there was no trauma to the body and there were a few scratches on her body that are consistent with falling down the side of the canal into the water.

Hundreds of people spent most of Wednesday searching for Reena after she apparently wandered away Tuesday night. Dive teams eventually found her body in a canal 25 yards from her home just before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Reena’s death is still an open investigation.

Authorities say her father last saw Reena Tuesday night about 90 minutes before she was reported missing. The news of her disappearance spread quickly in Danbury. Authorities say 400 to 500 people came out Wednesday to help look for Reena.

The Burnett County Sheriff’s Office said the canal where she was found is where the family docks their boat. Authorities drained the canal on Thursday in hopes of coming up with some clues that could lead to her cause of death. The Burnett County Sheriff’s Office isn’t releasing any details yet on what they might have found.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday to determine Reena’s cause of death. Full results could take up a few weeks to come out.

A family friend told WCCO-TV that Reena liked to be near the water all the time while people were fishing. The friend said she was walking in the area with a dog, and it was the last time she was seen.

Reena’s death is difficult for the community to comprehend.

“She was adventurous and fearless for sure. Definitely not shy of people you know,” said Andrew Jorgensen. “A really good kid actually, a really good kid.”

Reena’s mother made a brief statement yesterday after he daughter was found. She was visibly heartbroken and was only able to thank everyone there for their time and effort.

Maloney says it will take four to six weeks for the toxicology reports to confirm the accidental drowning.

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