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

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.

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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