Man missing for 3 days found injured in Northern MN woods

He'd vanished possibly "under the influence of unknown substances" on Tuesday
Publish date:

Authorities in Beltrami County say a local man reported missing by his family has been found alive.

Derrick G. Harper Jr., a 31-year-old from the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, disappeared on the night of Tuesday, September 11, according to a news release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office.

After his family reported him missing early Friday morning, local authorities undertook a large-scale search that included the Mississippi River and "the heavily wooded neighborhood" of Brook Lake Township where Harper lives. 

Air support from the State Patrol, a "mounted posse" and even a drone were part of the search effort, but it was searchers on the ground who found the clue that ultimately led to Harper.

An exuberant photo update from the Beltrami Co. sheriff

An exuberant photo update from the Beltrami Co. Sheriff

The sheriff's news release says the searchers found a piece of clothing that was identified as belonging to Harper; he was discovered shortly thereafter "injured and extremely dehydrated" in an adjacent area.

Authorities say his current condition is "unknown."

The circumstances of Harper's disappearance are not clear, but when he was reported missing, family members told authorities that he "may have been under the influence of unknown substances" at the time.

Meanwhile, a Facebook post from a family member asking for help in the search said that Harper had disappeared "after police dropped him off by his house."

The area where he was found is about 18 miles east of Bemidji. 


Next Up

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Minneapolis Public Schools to bring middle, high students back in April

Distance learning will continue be offered to those who want it.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins

Timberwolves announce 2nd half schedule

The Timberwolves will play 37 games in 66 days to close out the season.

Chris Finch / Timberwolves

National Basketball Coaches Association criticizes Timberwolves' coaching search

The organization believes the Timberwolves failed "to conduct a through and transparent search" before hiring Chris Finch.

best buy

Best Buy announces bonuses of up to $500 for hourly workers

The retailer has seen business boom since the pandemic started, particularly online.


Burnsville PD: Customer sprayed chemical irritant at McDonald's workers

The incident happened in Burnsville over the weekend.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

MN launches campaign to get students tested for COVID every 2 weeks

The state launched a youth testing campaign on Wednesday as part of its effort to control the spread of COVID.

jacob frey

Preparations for Derek Chauvin trial underway in Minneapolis

People will see "fortification" efforts and National Guard soldiers.

Willmar Police Department

Road rage leads to brawl at Willmar intersection, police say

The participants appeared to know each other, police said.

hazelewood burgers

3 Minnesota restaurants make it on 50 best burgers in America list

A travel website praised the restaurants' burgers in a recently released list.

Fire, firefighters

Firefighter critical after gun discharges during blaze, hitting him

The 35-year-old Cornell firefighter is hospitalized in critical condition


police lights

Missing MN woman found holed up in cabin after 3-day search

The 60-year-old New Hope resident disappeared on Tuesday.

Body found in search for missing boater on Lake Minnetonka

His empty boat was found on the water Saturday evening.

Muzeyyan Ayan

Body found in Mississippi ID'd as missing Wisconsin woman

She vanished after failing to board a flight at MSP airport last month.

Missing boater found dead after search

The boat operator was found in Anoka County's Peltier Lake.

Timothy Coen

Minnesota man found safe after being missing 5 days in Arizona

The 29-year-old started walking after his car broke down.