A 19-year-old man who drowned in the St. Croix River while swimming with friends had experienced recent family tragedy.
On Tuesday, Jeffery Arkis Taylor of St. Paul was swimming in the river when he drowned near Hudson, Wisconsin, police said. Taylor had been swimming with friends when he started to struggle, so Ryan Knudsen, 18, of Maplewood, went to help.
When Knudsen began to struggle too, friends pulled him from the river – he was unconscious and not breathing, but bystanders performed CPR and he was taken to the hospital, police said. Taylor's body wasn't found until an hour later.
It's since emerged that Taylor was the half-brother of Jeffrey Jemaile Taylor, who in April killed himself after fatally shooting his 19-year-old girlfriend, Maria McIntosh, her 17-year-old sister Olivia, and their dad, Wade McIntosh.
Jeffery Arkis Taylor was initially arrested after the killing, when he was found by police in a nearby shed with his half-brother's 18-month-old daughter.
He was released without charge when police determined he was just trying to protect his niece.
The Taylor family has been left devastated by the loss of a second son in as many months.
"Jeffrey was a very kind, caring young man. He had many dreams and aspirations," family attorney Karlowba R. Adams Powell told KARE 11. "His family is devastated as they try to understand what happened here."