Clay County Sheriff’s Office Provides Update on Buffalo River State Park Drowning

The Sheriff's Office debunks rumor that volunteers sat around and did nothing while child struggled

GLYNDON, Minn. — We have new information about what happened at the Buffalo River State Park swimming area when a nine–year–old Moorhead girl drowned on Wednesday.

No additional details directly surrounding the investigation of Grace Bettie’s death have been released.

However, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office wanted to debunk a rumor that volunteers from the Moorhead Police Summer Youth Program sat at a picnic table and did nothing while Bettie was in trouble.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says a junior mentor with the program fainted from the heat, and two volunteers tended to her while her parents were on the way.

“She was placed in the shade and two volunteers, a volunteer couple, that aren’t mentors that volunteered for this program for years, were assigned to sit with this junior mentor while she recovered from the heat,” said Chief Deputy Stephen Landsem of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office has been in touch with the victim’s family through a liaison.

The family has requested privacy as they grieve.

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