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Body of missing New Ulm woman found five days later

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Volunteers found the body of a missing New Ulm woman Saturday, five days after she went missing.

Karen Schroeder, 51, was last seen Monday. She left her home on foot, the Mankato Free Press reports.

Her body was found by the Cottonwood River in a wooded area surrounding New Ulm's famous Schell's Brewery. Reports say Schroeder was dealing with "unspecified health issues."

A team of 80 local volunteers and New Ulm Police Department K-9 units joined in the search for Schroeder.

Search party organizer Tonia Smith tells the Mankato Free Press, "I thought it was important for me to do something. I was impressed by the outpouring of love for this woman. (The volunteers) were adamant they would find her (Saturday), and they did."

Volunteers did not notice her body until the third sweep of the area, Smith says, because it was covered in snow. A volunteer noticed a shoe and footprints near the river, which was a turning point in the search, the Mankato Free Press reports.

Since the body was found frozen, New Ulm Police Commander Dave Borchet says an autopsy will happen on Monday at the earliest, the Associated Press reports. The cause of death is unknown.

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