Accidental Death in Mississippi River
On Saturday, September 5, 2015, a citizen spotted clothing floating near the shoreline of the Mississippi River and contacted law enforcement requesting assistance. Deputies drove to the scene identified by the complainant and there they located a deceased male in the Mississippi River between Lake Irvine and Lake Bemidji about ten feet from shore floating face down in the weeds. The Bemidji Fire Department responded to assist in recovering the badly decomposed body.
The individual was identified as FRANCIS NORMEN SMITH age 65, of Bemidji. An autopsy was conducted on Monday by the Beltrami County Coroner and his manner of death was ruled accidental. Smith had no known address and apparently had been camping nearby.
Sheriff Phil Hodapp