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A 70-year-old Minnesota man was found dead near his snowmobile in St. Louis County . 

According to the sheriff, Anthony "Tony" Pecha was located dead next to a snowmobile on the 3800 block of Mud Creek Road, located south of Ely in Eagle's Nest Township. 

Authorities were called to the scene on the 3800 block of Mud Creek Road – located south of Ely in Eagle's Nest Township – at approximately 4:15 p.m. Thursday. The 911 caller reported finding the man, who they believed to be dead. 

Pecha was confirmed deceased at the scene by first responders. 

"It appears the male was attempting to re-attach a sled he’d been pulling with his snowmobile prior to collapsing," the sheriff's office said. "There was no indication of the snowmobile being involved in any type of accident however, it did appear to have been stuck in deep snow prior to being moved to its current location, a short distance away."

Pecha was awarded a lifetime achievement award from Vermilion Community College in 2018 for his role as a banker and community servant for 40 years, according to the Ely Echo

The northern Minnesota newspaper says Pecha grew up in Tower, Minnesota. He played college basketball at Vermillion, where he was honored as both a member of the All-State Team and the All-State Tournament Team. 

During his banking career, her worked at Boundary Waters Bank in Ely, American Bank North in Cook, State Bank in Tower, and at the Babbitt Steel Workers Credit Union.

The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office will release Pecha's cause of death at a later date. 

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