Minnesota man drowns trying to save his niece in Iowa

Cha Charles Lee had turned 42 on the day he died.
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A Minnesota man drowned in the Des Moines River while trying to save his struggling niece.

Marion County Sheriff Lt. Brian Bigaouette told media that Cha Charles Lee died on Friday afternoon as he attempted to aid the 7 year old, who was in distress in the water along with seven other family members from Little Canada.

A boater passing by was able to pull seven of them to safety, including the girl who the boater was able to resuscitate.

Lee had gone missing however, and his body was found two hours later by a dive team.

He had turned 42 years old on the day he died.

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– At least 10 people have died in crashes in Minnesota since Friday.

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His niece had been playing at the edge of the water with others when she accidentally ventured into a deeper part of Lake Red Rock in Marion County, which is connected to the Des Moines River.

Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt told KNIA: "Although this event ended tragically, I applaud the heroic efforts of the nearby boater. He saved additional family member’s lives today by being in the area and providing assistance."

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