TAYLORS FALLS, Minn. (WCCO) — Dangerous conditions on the St. Croix River forced law enforcement to suspend the search effort for a missing Chisago City man Saturday.
Andrew Remley, 26, slipped on a rock and fell into the rushing water around 8:30 Friday night.
Law enforcement searched the river Friday night and Saturday morning before pulling their boats due to the dangerous current.
The raging current of the St. Croix River is a rare sight near Taylors Falls.
“Due to the large amount of rain and the flooding that we’ve had, this area of the St. Croix is moving extremely fast,” said Chief Deputy Brandon Thyen of the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office.
Friday evening, Remley slipped on the rocky ledges while taking a photo. In an instant, the rain-swollen river swallowed him in the churning current.
“A witness in the area heard a scream from the river, looked out to the river, saw an adult male come up out of the water and then go back down in the water,” said Thyen.
Search crews fought the rushing river for more than an hour until darkness and dangerous conditions forced them from the water.
Remley’s family sobbed at river’s edge hoping for his return.
“I was in shock and in disbelief that this happened,” said mother Elizabeth Gutting.
On Saturday morning the search resumed. So did the shoreline prayers from those who love him.
“He was loved by a lot of people. Everybody that met him loved him. He made everybody laugh,” said Gutting.
Remley’s little boys were kept away until early afternoon when authorities determined a rescue would now become recovery.
“His children were with him when this happened,” Gutting said.
Search crews again pulled their boats. Sonar or dragging the river was all but worthless in the rapids.
“The rapids are so strong there’s no way that we could get a boat into that area currently,” said Thyen.
For his family, the wait for closure continues along the banks of a normally peaceful river.
“Now I just need to bring him home,” said Gutting.
The rising river crested Friday in the Taylors Falls area. Crews will be back on the water Sunday.