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Police: Video shows missing U of M student entering Mississippi River


Video evidence shows the missing University of Minnesota student entered the Mississippi River from the 10th Avenue Bridge, Minneapolis police said Monday morning.

Jennifer Houle, 22, went missing early Friday morning after leaving a bar in Dinkytown, and video from the bridge shows she entered the river not long after she was last seen.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is assisting in what police are calling a "water recovery effort" related to Houle's disappearance.

Police do not believe Houle survived, public information officer John Elder told BringMeTheNews. The bridge is about 110 feet above the water, the Pioneer Press notes.

A statement from the Minneapolis Police Department Monday reads:

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Houle family and all of Jennifer’s many friends. The Minneapolis Police Department and the family of Jennifer Houle wish to thank the many people who provided support, assistance, and information since Jennifer's disappearance. The Houle family has requested privacy at this difficult time."

Video from a camera on the bridge shows Houle was alone at the time, Elder told BringMeTheNews. No suspects are being sought.

As for why Houle entered the river, Elder said they cannot tell intent just from watching video; the medical examiner will make that determination.

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Houle, a senior at the U of M's Carlson School of Management and member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, was last seen at Blarney Bar in Dinkytown between 1 and 2 a.m. Friday.

Elder told the Pioneer Press Houle went into the river between the time she was last seen and before police recovered her purse around 3 a.m.

The Blarney Bar is less than a mile from the 10th Avenue bridge, according to Google Maps. Her purse was found on the 1100 block of Fourth Street Southeast, a few blocks southwest of the bar and bridge.

Family and friends took to social media over the weekend in an effort to #BringJenHome, and on Sunday night, hundreds of people attended a vigil for Houle in her hometown of Stillwater.

She was described as "kindhearted, outgoing, compassionate and intelligent."

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