Body Pulled from Red River, Sent to Grand Forks for Autopsy

Just after 9:00 on Saturday night, dispatch received a call that a body was floating in the Red River

FARGO, ND — Emergency crews pulled a body from the Red River near downtown Fargo Saturday night.

Authorities haven’t confirmed the identity, but the body was found near the area where a swimmer went missing last week.

Dispatch received a call that a body was floating in the Red River just after 9 p.m.

“It was just somebody walking on the Moorhead side of the river that saw something floating in the water,” said Fargo Police Sgt. Jim Van Lith. “It was taken by the current to its location under the bridge.”

Fire crews arrived and pulled the body from the Fargo side of the river.

“At this time, the body will be sent to Grand Forks for an autopsy for positive identification as well as a continuing investigation with the police department and the Cass County Coroner’s Office,” said Sgt. Van Lith.

Early Thursday morning, 24–year–old Fanuel Shewarega Asrat went missing after swimming in the river with two other men in the area where the body was found.

“They were on the way to the Red River just to sit by the riverside or something and they start swimming,” said Ayush Thakuri, who is a friend of Fanuel’s. “Later, it was like four in the morning, all dark. They don’t see nothing, they hear a few screams like, saying something and they said it just ended up like that.”

The Fargo Fire Department and Valley Water Rescue have been searching the river since Thursday.

Authorities can’t confirm if the body found is Asrat until the autopsy is complete.

We reached out to friends who say they feel devastated and broken that their friend is missing.

One friend said he saw him Wednesday night and is hoping he will return home.

“He was actually a very creative person for me,” said Thakuri. “The way he deals with everything, the way he used to share his ideas, about the future, about graduation and after graduation.”

The situation is still under investigation but Sgt. Van Lith said there were no immediate signs of foul play.

Authorities say they expect to release the name of the body Monday.

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