Skip to main content

Authorities ID body found in drainage ditch as Paynesville woman


Authorities in west-central Minnesota are trying to find out why Toni Cottrill turned up dead in a drainage ditch in Meeker County this week.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff's Office, deputies responding to a report of a missing person discovered the 39-year-old's body in Swede Grove Township on Monday night, a news release says. The body was subsequently sent to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office and identified as Cottrill.

Officials are now saying her cause of death was "probably drowning," though authorities are still investigating what led up to the Paynesville resident's demise.

She was last seen at a residence (where she did not live) on 518th Avenue, according to a previous appeal for information,about a third of a mile away from where her body was eventually found.

Authorities haven't yet released any further details about either Cottrill or the circumstances surrounding the discovery of her body.

Investigators are asking anyone who might have come into contact with Cottrill on Nov. 29 or Nov. 30. to come forward and call Meeker County Sheriff's Office at 320-693-5400.

Next Up

Boebert-Omar - Flickr Gage Skidmore

Rep. Boebert refuses to apologize for Islamophobic comment toward Rep. Omar

A phone call Monday between the two lawmakers ended abruptly.

Patrick Peterson

Vikings place Patrick Peterson on COVID-19/reserve list

The Vikings cornerback said he was vaccinated in August.

flickr - thin ice warning - USFWS Midwest

'Numerous' reports of eager anglers falling through ice

Conditions are still unpredictable, and can vary even across a single body of water.


Minnesota health officials watching closely for omicron variant

Health leaders do not yet know how transmissible or severe the new variant is.

school bus stop pixabay

School bus driver charged in fatal hit-and-run will plead guilty

Another motorist told the driver to call 911, but he instead got on the bus and drove off, charges say.

Franconia Sculpture Park - Lorie Shaull - Flickr

5 outdoor destinations to explore around the Twin Cities

There's something for everyone on this list of overlooked spots.

Child mental health counseling

As pandemic continues, so do efforts to improve child mental health access

Children's Minnesota has announced it will open its first inpatient mental health facility for under 18s.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook suffered torn labrum, dislocated shoulder

Cook is now dealing with a dislocated shoulder and a torn labrum on both sides of his body, according to a report.

Tanner Morgan

Tanner Morgan returning to Gophers for 6th season

One Gophers QB has already entered the transfer portal.

Allina Health Richfield - 407 W 66th St, Richfield, Minnesota - June 2019 - CROP

Charges: Clinic locked down after man tried to enter, threatened passersby

Staff at the clinic suspected he was intoxicated, according to the complaint.

covid, vaccine

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, November 29

The state's latest report includes data from the Thanksgiving break.

unsplash - woman sick coughing - CROP

Long COVID: Review of Mayo patients may provide new clues

The researchers summarized three "major novel findings" from the data.