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Search for Monticello man ends after body is found in Mississippi River

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The search for a missing Monticello man came to an end Thursday when Joseph Brunn's body was pulled from the Mississippi River.

His parents confirmed that a body recovered at about 11:30 a.m. is Brunn, who was 23 and had been missing for five days.

Wright County Sheriff's Deputies recovered the body about 30 yards from shore and 300 yards south of the Highway 101 Bridge in Otsego, the agency said in a news release.

His uncle, Steve, praised Joseph Brunn's "wonderful heart and personality," adding: "We are so glad he is back with us," according to KARE 11.

Family members were also effusive in their praise for the support from volunteers and the United Legacy team that organized the extensive search for their son, as well as for the Wright County Sheriff's Department.

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday evening outside the Holiday Inn in Otsego, which had served as a staging area for the search effort.

Those who knew the 23-year-old have been paying tribute on social media.

Major search effort after disappearance

The circumstances surrounding Brunn's death are under investigation by the Wright County Sheriff's Office. The body was brought to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office, where it will be officially identified.

Thousands of volunteers, including some on horseback or riding ATVs, had been searching the area since he went missing.

He’d reportedly left the Boondox Bar and Grille in Otsego around 2 a.m. and walked past the nearby Holiday Inn, the Monticello Times reported. He left his car behind and was reportedly seen walking toward a field, according to the paper.

Brunn had been at a wedding Friday night, WCCO reports.

United Legacy said in a post on Facebook: "The family would like to thank each and every volunteer that joined in the search to bring Joe home and that helped bring the family closure. Joe's family appreciates all the love and support the community has showed them."

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