Investigation continues in drowning death of girl at a Minnesota state park

The child drowned at Buffalo River State Park in Glyndon, Minnesota.
Publish date:

Witnesses to a drowning death of a 9-year-old girl in northwest Minnesota this week are questioning whether enough was done to try and save the child. 

Grace Elizabeth Bettie, a 9 year old from Moorhead, died at Buffalo River State Park in Glyndon when she was pulled from the water unresponsive at approximately 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The incident happened in the swimming area of the park and lifeguards were on-duty. 

The City of Moorhead revealed Thursday that the girl was participating in the Moorhead Police Summer Youth Program, with that day's activities featuring swimming and crafts at the park. 

Two women who witnessed the incident told the Fargo Forum that they don't think chaperones, lifeguards and police officers watching the kids reacted appropriately when first learning that the girl was missing. 

One of the witnesses explained to the newspaper that she saw a girl waving at an adult saying her friend was in the water, but that the first areas park rangers searched were along trails. It wasn't until 17 minutes later, the witness said, that lifeguards entered the water and found the girl.

Today's Top Stories

Police union head criticizes media, city leaders for Thurman Blevins shooting

Police investigating serious car vs. pedestrian crash in Eagan

Believe the hype: Intense heat, severe storms Friday in Minnesota

What's unclear in the Fargo Forum story is whether anyone other than the witness saw the girl waving down an adult. 

The Clay County Sheriff's Department is investigation the accident. 

Next Up

Grand casino

Grand Casino celebrates 30th anniversary with more than cake

Hundreds of thousands of winning dollars are on the table.

Brodd defense witness

As defense starts, expert argues Chauvin's use of force was reasonable

Use-of-force expert Barry Brodd testified on behalf of the defense.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball

Minnehaha Academy produces back-to-back award winners for the second time in state history.

Byron Buxton

Red Sox out-slug Twins in chilly matinee

Bobby Dalbec hit two RBI doubles to hand the Twins their third straight loss.

Governor Tim Walz

As CDC urges Michigan to shut down, Gov. Walz watches closely

Walz says there are no imminent plans to dial back.


Man, 26, collapses and dies at event center shortly after altercation

The incident was reported Saturday night in Stearns County.

Allina Crossroads Campus

Allina Health will reopen Buffalo clinic after fatal mass shooting

A timeline about when the clinic will reopen hasn't been released.


Child drowns at state park in northwest Minnesota

It happened at Buffalo River State Park.

lake, water

3-year-old dies after drowning incident in west-central Minnesota

The drowning happened at a public swimming area.

Bloomington parents charged in the drowning death of their baby

The parents are accused of leaving their young children alone at home.

20 year old drowns in St. Croix River Saturday

It happened near Lions Park in St. Croix Falls.

Mississippi River at Point Douglas Park in Hastings

Mississippi River drowning victim near Hastings identified

The man died in a drowning accident Nov. 14.

lake water

Minnesota father-of-five dies in drowning accident in Iowa

It happened at a campground in Sioux County, Iowa.