MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Rice Lake Police Department has completed their investigation into the death of a 2-year-old girl, concluding that it was a “tragic accident.”
The missing child was found dead in the Red Cedar River in early December.
The girl, “who could walk very well on her own and had recently learned how to open the door,” was able to get outside while her father slept, according to a release.
Her father looked for her after waking up and realizing she was gone, before calling 911. Later, a volunteer in a search team located tiny footprints in the snow along a nearby river. The small footprints were the size of a child’s, and there weren’t any other footprints in the vicinity.
Police used a thermal imaging device to scan the water, and they located the child 30 yards downstream. First responders were unable to resuscitate her.
An autopsy performed by the medical examiner’s office determined that the manner of death was accidental, listing drowning as the cause of death.
No criminal charges will be filed.