Sheriff: Man Found Dead In Creek Was Trying To Steal Copper

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Investigators say the bodily remains found in a St. Louis County swamp are those of a Wisconsin man who may have been trying to steal copper from a railyard.

The sheriff’s office says Jack Allen Cotrell, 51, had been missing since Oct. 1, but he wasn’t reported missing until Oct. 16.

Family and friends of Cotrell, from Superior, told investigators that he was attempting to steal copper with three other people from the Canadian National Railyard in Proctor.

Police were called the railyard on Oct. 1 after a guard spotted possible trespassers. Officers arrived to find evidence of copper theft, but no one was still in the vicinity.

Search and rescue crews searched the area Tuesday, where they found Cotrell’s body in a creek near the railyard.

Investigators say he likely drowned, and foul play is not suspected. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s office is still awaiting toxicology reports.

Cotrell’s accomplices were located and interviewed by law enforcement, who are still investigating this case.

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