Authorities located a body in the Minnesota River Thursday morning near the site of an unoccupied boat that was discovered Sept. 2, a news release from the Scott County Sheriff’s Office said this morning.
The body was located at 7:42 a.m., approximately 500 yards from the location of the boat that sparked the search for a missing boater Monday morning.
According to the sheriff's office, positive identification and an official cause of death will be made by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office. At this time, no foul play is suspected.
Search efforts have been ongoing for Bruce Copenhaver, a 62-year-old Watertown resident, since Monday. Family members said Copenhaver left home to go fishing between 8 and 8:30 a.m.
Copenhaver’s boat, a 2002 Lund 17-foot open boat with a 60 hp Evinrude tiller-style motor, was found running and unoccupied near the shoreline at approximately 10:50 a.m. Monday. Mr. Copenhaver’s brown 2015 Ford F-150 truck and boat trailer were also located at the Minnesota River boat landing in Belle Plaine.
According to an earlier news release from the sheriff’s office, witnesses advised they located a running, unoccupied boat near the shoreline and were unable to locate anyone in the immediate vicinity. A search began immediately with responders from multiple agencies, both on the water and shoreline.
In a Thursday news release, Sheriff Luke Hennen offered his sincere gratitude to partner agencies that assisted in this extensive search.
The Scott County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Sibley County Sheriff’s Office, Belle Plaine Police Department, Minnesota DNR, Minnesota State Patrol, Belle Plaine Fire Department, Jordan Fire Department, Henderson Fire Department, Carver Fire Department, Shakopee Mdewakanton Public Safety, Carver County Dive Team and Ridgeview Ambulance.