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Body identified as that of missing Bemidji, Minn., man

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday that the body of a man found in Lake Irving was that of Matt Pulis, missing since Oct. 20.

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Pulis’ mother, Betty Pulis, expressed her gratitude to members of the Bemidji Police Department who, with the help of a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter pilot, found her son’s body Thursday afternoon.

“They are a wonderful, dedicated, compassionate group of people,” she said of Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin’s department. “They are heroes.”

Dental records confirmed the identity, according to a news release, and the examiner’s report showed the cause of death to be drowning.

Pulis’ disappearance sparked a massive search in October. Bemidji police conducted a door-to-door search of 200 homes in the immediate aftermath of the 31-year-old’s disappearance. They also scanned lakes Bemidji and Irving, as well as other woodland areas with sonar-equipped boats and by air, covering 500 acres. Nothing turned up. The search Thursday came as a result of spring weather, Beltrami County emergency management director Beryl Wernberg said.

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