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Update: Body found in Apple River identified as St. Paul man

Somerset police say a body was discovered Sunday near this stretch of the Apple River, down an embankment from Village Park. (Photo by Mike Longaecker)

UPDATE (11:00 a.m., April 17):  The body found Sunday in the Apple River was identified as a St. Paul man, Somerset police announced Friday.

According to a Somerset Police Department news release, the deceased man was identified by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office as 29-year-old Kevin Rhines. He had been reported missing April 2 by St. Paul police, the release states.

The release states the cause of death and the circumstances surrounding the death remain under investigation.

Rhines’ body was discovered Sunday afternoon in the Apple River below Somerset’s Village Park. Friends of Rhines posted earlier in the week that he had been involved in a crash in Somerset around the time he went missing.

Somerset Police Chief Thomas Sirovatka confirmed that a vehicle registered to Rhines was found abandoned April 2 in a Town of Somerset ditch.

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Somerset police are awaiting identification of a man’s body found Sunday at a riverside park.

Police Chief Thomas Sirovatka said Somerset police, firefighters and St. Croix County sheriff’s deputies were called at 3:33 p.m. Sunday to a report of a male body discovered below Village Park in the Apple River.

Asked if the death was considered suspicious, Sirovatka said the department is “not considering it anything” for now. He said the department is awaiting forensic analysis from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

He said he expected to release the identity of the deceased and the preliminary cause of death following the medical examiner’s report. Sirovatka said it was “hard to say” how long the body had been at the park.

There is “absolutely not” a danger to the community, the chief said.

The discovery prompted a post to the New Richmond News Facebook page seeking a man who reportedly went missing April 2 after the vehicle he was in crashed in Somerset. The post, made by a St. Paul resident, describes the missing man as being approximately 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds.

Information on the crash, handled by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, was not immediately available.

Sirovatka said that crash “is on my radar,” but said no connection with the discovery of the body could be confirmed or denied until the man is identified.

“We are looking into any avenue,” he said.

More information will be posted as it becomes available

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072
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