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Authorities searching for U of M student in Mississippi River

MINNEAPOLIS -- Authorities in Minneapolis are searching for a University of Minnesota student who is believed to have been swept into the Mississippi River on Tuesday night, April 25.

Officers responded about 8 p.m. to a report of a water emergency at Xcel Energy Water Power Park, where they met with a 22-year-old man who told them he and a friend had climbed a nearby fence so they could sit along the Mississippi River, according to a statement issued by the Minneapolis Park Police Department.

The man told officers a large “wave” swept them both into the river and over St. Anthony Falls, the statement said. After pulling himself out of the water, he was unable to find his friend.

Although the statement does not name the missing man, his mother, Melissa Melnick, identified him in a Facebook post as Chris Stanley, a 22-year-old senior in neurobiology at the University of Minnesota.

“As far as I know, they haven’t found him yet,” Melnick wrote shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday. “So, I’m at home. Crying. Praying. Trying to be hopeful. The water’s cold. He’s a strong swimmer.”

She added later that a prayer vigil will be held for Stanley at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Oak Grove Lutheran Church in Richfield.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service

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