UPDATED: Boy’s body pulled from Mississippi River in St. Paul
Officials said the boy's body was found in the water just downstream from the Lilydale boat launch in St. Paul about 10:15 a.m.
ST. PAUL -- Family members have identified the boy who drowned in the Mississippi River as Ashok Pradhan, a 12-year-old from St. Paul who slipped while wading Monday and was swept away by the current.
The Ramsey County Water Patrol found his body Wednesday, June 9, just downstream from the Lilydale boat launch in St. Paul about 10:15 a.m.
“We want to say thank you to the police who looked for Ashok,” said Ashok’s brother, Arjun Pradhan. “They worked hard. They looked and searched for him like he was their own son or brother.”
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner confirmed the boy’s identity Wednesday.
The family has begun planning his funeral and has set up a GoFundMe account to help with expenses.
The family went to Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul on Monday. The sandy beaches attract waders who often don’t see the posted signs about the dangers of the swift current.
That’s what Arjun said happened to his brother. He said Ashok loved playing in the waves. He was walking on rocks when he suddenly slipped. He yelled for help and his family members jumped in, trying to save him, but he was gone.
“In one second, a wave can swiftly take away your kids and your happiness as it did for us,” he said. “Please, parents, follow the state guidelines before you swim.”
Arjun’s parents, Devika and Ratan, and his five brothers and one sister, are Bhutan immigrants and have fallen on hard times financially, Arjun said. The day at the beach was meant to be a fun family outing.
“We are heartbroken,” the Bhutanese Community Organization of Minnesota posted on its website. “We miss you babu. May God shower his abundant blessings to the bereaved family to overcome this tragic loss.
Ashok was a student at Humboldt High School in St. Paul and played the violin.
“He was creative and caring as well as humble,” Arjun said. “He had the ability to make a stranger feel like family.”
Water patrol units from Hennepin and Dakota counties assisted in the search and recovery, as did the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota State Patrol aviation, the St. Paul police and fire departments and Northstar search and rescue.