The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 6, 2014

Sheriff: 4 likely died when SUV plunged into river


The Mankato Free Press

---- — WINONA, Minn. (AP) — Winona County's sheriff says his department is working to recover the bodies of two men believed to have drowned along with two others in the Mississippi River.

Sheriff David Brand said Monday crews are using an underwater robotic device to search for the two men who were likely in the SUV that plunged into the Mississippi early Sunday in downtown Winona.

A search team from Carver County was summoned after the two men could not be located. They were seen leaving a tavern with 30-year-old Mathew Erickson, of Chatfield, and 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser, of Winona. Erickson and Hauser's bodies were found in the vehicle after it was pulled from the water Sunday.

KAGE radio (http://bit.ly/19Xt8Oq ) reports one of the vehicle's back windows had been broken out, causing authorities to believe both men may have exited the vehicle while underwater.