Body of missing S.D. kayaker pulled from Minnesota River


The remains of a body believed to be a missing South Dakota kayaker have been recovered from the Minnesota River, the New Ulm Journal reports.

The Nicollet County Sheriff's Office said in a press release that the body, which they believe to be the remains of Stephen P. Fritze of Watertown, S.D., was recovered Saturday.

A positive identification of the remains is pending autopsy results from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.

Sheriff's officials say the remains were discovered by a fisherman on the river in a log jam. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials recovered the body with the use of an air boat.

Fritze, who taught sixth grade at St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Watertown, was in New Ulm visiting family and friends June 22 when he went kayaking. He was with two friends when their kayaks overturned in the fast-moving and rising river and became entangled in brush.

Fritze, 50, was the only person in the party who did not make it to shore. More than 50 rescue and emergency personnel reportedly searched for Fritze at the time of the mishap.

The Watertown Public Opinion says a memorial service for Fritze was held July 3.

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