Maplewood man jumps into St. Croix River; search for body continues

A 38-year-old Maplewood man jumped from the Interstate 94 bridge into the St. Croix River on New Year's Eve, and cold weather inhibited the search for his body for days, authorities say.

Passersby reportedly saw a man park a car on the shoulder of the eastbound lanes and jump. The incident was reported at about 2:23 p.m. Dec. 31, according to Cmdr. Jerry Cusick of the Washington County Sheriff's Department. Multiple agencies were dispatched to the stretch that connects Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Initial efforts to locate the man's body were unsuccessful. Temperatures dipped to about 10-below zero, making it dangerous for divers to respond, he said. Cusick said some equipment froze and failed.

Responders have been waiting until the weather is less frigid to continue the search, according to Cusick.

He said it's a "challenging" and "dangerous" area to search, because it's littered with concrete, rebar and other debris.

Cusick said Friday afternoon that searchers will be trying "some things over the weekend before it gets too cold," including remote-controlled equipment to survey the river bottom. The river has been partially covered with ice, but the spot where the man jumped was open water.

He said the family has been contacted about the incident.

--Kaitlyn Roby

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