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Boat found partially-submerged in Shakopee may have been dumped

The boat was found on the Minnesota River in Shakopee.

A search launched after a boat was found partially-submerged on the Minnesota River south of the Twin Cities has been called off, as authorities believe it may have been dumped in there.

The Scott County Sheriff's Office says it was called to the unoccupied boat near the Highway 101 bridge in Shakopee just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

They found the empty boat partially submerged in the river, and couldn't find anyone in the immediate vicinity.

A search started immediately with numerous agencies involved.

However, after the boat was removed from the water, "it appears that numerous holes had been drilled into the bottom and sides of the boat and it may have been intentionally discarded in the river," the sheriff's office said.

The search was suspended pending further information, with no occupants of the boat found.

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This incident is not linked to another search on the Minnesota River in Scott County near Belle Plaine, where authorities continue to search for missing boater Bruce Copenhaver, 62, of Watertown.

He went missing on Monday after leaving home to go fishing. His unoccupied fishing boat was found running near the shoreline a few hours later, with his truck and trailer also found parked near the boat landing.

"We have multiple agencies searching the shoreline, in the water on boats with sonar technology, and also have a dive team on hand," said Sheriff Luke Hennen on Tuesday. "We know Mr. Copenhaver’s family is very concerned and we are doing everything we can to locate him."

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