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Scott County Sheriff's Office Press Releases

Posted on: September 3, 2019

Incident on Minnesota River - Belle Plaine UPDATE

September 3, 2019 - Search efforts resumed this morning for the missing boater whose unoccupied boat was located yesterday on the Minnesota River near Belle Plaine.  The missing boater is identified as Bruce Copenhaver* (62) of Watertown, Minnesota. 


Family members state Mr. Copenhaver left home to go fishing between approximately 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. yesterday. 


Mr. Copenhaver’s boat, a 2002 Lund 17-foot open boat with a 60 hp Evinrude tiller-style motor, was found running and unoccupied near the shoreline at approximately 10:50 a.m. yesterday.  Mr. Copenhaver’s brown 2015 Ford F-150 truck and boat trailer were also located at the Minnesota River boat landing in Belle Plaine.


“We have multiple agencies searching the shoreline, in the water on boats with sonar technology, and also have a dive team on hand,” said Sheriff Luke Hennen.  “We know Mr. Copenhaver’s family is very concerned and we are doing everything we can to locate him.”


At this time, this incident is not suspicious and the search remains active.


Assisting the Scott County Sheriff’s Office with the search and investigation today are the Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Sibley County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Natural Resources, Belle Plaine Fire Department, Carver Fire Department, Henderson Fire Department, and Ridgeview Ambulance.


*Name was spelled incorrectly as “Copenhauer” on previously published press release and has been corrected.

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