Missing 2-year-old dies after being found in western Wisconsin river

The girl was found in the Red Cedar River in Rice Lake.

A tragedy involving a child has struck the western Wisconsin city of Rice Lake. 

At 9:33 p.m. Sunday, Rice Lake Police Department officers were sent to a home near Hatten Ave. and Hartel St. on a report of a missing 2-year-old girl. The 911 caller told dispatch that the front door was open and the child could have been missing for up to 30 minutes. 

Police immediately launched a search – issuing an urgent request for help on social media – with help arriving in the form of the fire department, paramedics, a K9 unit, drone, and citizen volunteers. 

At 10:55 p.m., an officer using a thermal imaging device located the missing girl in the Red Cedar River.

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She was unresponsive when found, then rushed to an ambulance and taken to a hospital where lifesaving efforts proved unsuccessful. 

The identity of the 2-year-old has not been released and no further information is available at this time. 

The Red Cedar River runs through the heart of the city and connects to Rice Lake. 

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