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BSU student dies after falling into icy creek on way home from party

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A 20-year-old female college student found in woodland in Bemidji is thought to have been overcome by the cold after falling into a creek.

Police told KSTP that 20-year-old BSU student Sandra Lommen, of Bloomington, Minnesota, wandered off the road as she tried to walk back to campus from a social gathering and fell through the ice in a creek.

She managed to escape from the water and make it back to a path towards the street before falling unconscious, the TV station notes.

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She was still breathing when she was found near 10th Street Northwest and Rice Avenue at 8.30 a.m. Wednesday, but later died in Sanford Medical Center.

Police say she showed signs of hypothermia when she was discovered, the Bemidji Pioneer reports, while the Star Tribune reports police noted an odor of alcohol, though intoxication levels have not yet been determined.

Lommen was a freshman nursing student at BSU and resided on campus in Linden Hall, the Bemidji Pioneer notes, with her body found about a mile-and-a-half away from her dorm.

It's unclear how long she had been outside. According to Weather Underground, the low in Bemidji on Tuesday and Wednesday was in the low teens.

Police have launched a criminal investigation into her death, KSTP says, with officers probing how the underage student was able to get a hold of alcohol.

Ramsey County police chief Mike Mastin told the Star Tribune that Lommen was dressed appropriately "for what she had intended to do, which was walk home."

Scott Faust, director of communications at BSU, said that students and faculty members were told of Lommen's death around 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Bemidji Pioneer.

"It's been a difficult day, our thoughts are really with her family and we're focused on helping them in any way we can to deal with this terrible loss," he said.

Results of an autopsy are expected Thursday and will be released later this week.

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