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Autopsy indicates hypothermia cause of kayakers' deaths

LOYAL, Wis. — Preliminary autopsies done on a father and his three children who died Aug. 30 after the tandem kayak they were in capsized on Lake Superior indicate that the four died of hypothermia and possibly drowning.

The dead include Eric Fryman, 39, and his three children: Kyra, 9, Annaliese, 5, and Jansen, 3, all of Loyal, Wis. The children's mother, Cari A, Mews, 29, also of Loyal, was the sole survivor.

According to Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan, preliminary results from the autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office in Minneapolis indicated that Eric Fryman died of hypothermia, and the children died of hypothermia and possibly drowning.

Brennan said the investigation remains open pending the results of toxicological tests, although he said there was no reason to believe the tragedy was anything but a boating accident.

Brennan said Mews told him after she was rescued that she had attempted without success to call 911 right after the tandem kayak they were paddling from Madeline Island to Michigan Island capsized.