MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities say a 51-year-old Superior, Wis., man who went missing in mid-October was evading authorities after a copper theft in Proctor and later died of a methamphetamine overdose.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said Jack Allen Cotrell was reported missing on Oct. 16, and hadn’t been seen since Oct. 1. Family and friends had been notified that he was possibly involved with a copper wire theft from the Canadian National Railyard in Proctor.

An investigation shows the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call just before midnight on Oct. 1 after a railyard worker observed trespassers, and there was evidence of a copper theft. Cotrell was identified, as well as three accomplices.

Authorities were notified on Oct. 24 that a body had been found just outside of Proctor near the Canadian National Railyard. It was positively identified as Cotrell. He was found dead on Oct. 24 in a narrow creek not far from the railyard.

A preliminary autopsy showed his death was the result of drowning, but toxicology results indicate Cotrell died of accidental methamphetamine toxicity. Authorities say it’s believed Cotrell was crossing a swamp to evade authorities after being spotted by railyard employees.

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