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St. Paul family mourns 11-year-old who drowned in Mississippi River

An online fundraiser aims to help cover funeral expenses for the family.

An online fundraiser for the family of the 11-year-old boy who drowned in the Mississippi River last week has so far generated more than $11,000. 

De'Andre Tyson was swimming at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul last Tuesday, July 21, when he went underwater and didn't resurface. The 11-year-old's body was recovered two days later, with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office saying the search mission was made difficult by a fast current and murky water. 

Tyson was a student at Cherokee Heights Elementary School in St. Paul and was going into his fifth-grade year. 

"Our thoughts are with the Tyson family. We will miss you De'Andre," the school announced in a statement. 

According to the Pioneer Press, Tyson was a beginner in swimming lessons and had never swam in a river. His mother told the St. Paul newspaper that he was going to the park to play but didn't have plans to go swimming. 

“He was fun. He was energetic. He was an athlete. He was so special,” said his mother to the Pioneer Press. “He never met a stranger in his life. Teachers would tell me he was so polite."

She told KARE 11 that her son will be remembered for "how helpful he was," and for always having a smile on his face. 

Money raised from the GoFundMe will cover funeral expenses and help his family while she recovers from a spinal injury that will require surgery following a car accident on July 1. 

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