Bodies of 3 missing people found in Vermillion River; victims identified

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(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE 7/6/2023: Authorities have identified the three swimmers whose bodies were recovered from the Vermillion River Wednesday, two days after they went underwater and didn’t resurface.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office identified them Thursday as:

  • 41-year-old Ke Drer,
  • 22-year-old Miguel Juan-Jose,
  • 17-year-old Petrona Juan-Jose.


(ABC 6 News) – The bodies of three people who went missing Monday night in the Vermillion River have been recovered, according to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO).

The GCSO said two of the bodies were found shortly before 7:00 a.m. Wednesday and the third was found about 10 minutes later. All three were found in the area crews had been searching.

Authorities say a family was on the north side of Diamond Island on the Vermillion River near where it feeds into the Mississippi River on Monday night, with one family member fishing and others swimming in the river. However, three swimmers started to struggle in the water and the fisherman went in to help them.

The GCSO said the fisherman got his adult daughter to safety but after he went to help the other two swimmers — a 17-year-old girl and a man — he also went underwater and didn’t resurface.

RELATED: Search continues for missing teen and two men in Vermillion River in Goodhue County

Emergency crews searched the area for around three hours Monday night, then resumed their search Tuesday morning but were unsuccessful until Wednesday morning.

All three victims are from the same household in Oakdale, Minn. the GCSO said.

The GCSO said the families of the three missing were made aware of the recovery.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene and will be releasing names of those located.