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December 2015: Body pulled from Willow River ID'd as Hudson native

Editor's note: This story is from December 2015.

Authorities confirmed Monday that a body pulled from the Willow River over the weekend belonged to a Hudson native.

St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson said Monday the body of 20-year-old Madeline Brekke was discovered at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday in a portion of the river near County Road A in the town of Hudson. Foul play was not suspected, Knudson said.

Brekke last lived in River Falls but was a Hudson native and a 2013 graduate of Hudson High School. According to her Facebook page, Brekke was a graphic design student at UW-Milwaukee. She worked as a personal care assistant at Serving Hands in Hudson, according to a friend.

Deputies were first called to Willow River State Park for a welfare check following a call from River Falls police about a missing person last seen on Dec. 17 who might be at the park.

Deputies found Brekke’s car parked in the Department of Natural Resources lot off County Road A.

As they were beginning to formulate a plan to search the approximately 2,900-acre park, deputies were approached by a hiker who reported noticing clothing in the river, which later led to the discovery.

The Hudson Fire Department's cold-water rescue unit was called in to recover the body.

Knudson said no cause of death had been determined, pending an autopsy being performed on Monday.

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

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