Body of missing canoeist found in Curtain Falls BWCA

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Louis County Rescue Squad have located the body of missing canoeist Jesse Melvin Haugen, 41, of Cambridge, MN on Friday, May 31 during their search operations near Curtain Falls in the BWCA. Search efforts continue for fellow canoeist Reis Melvin Grams, 40, of Lino Lakes, Minnesota who also went missing two weeks ago.

“Weather and water conditions continue to be a large factor in the search efforts with further rainfall slated for later this weekend,” explained Sheriff Gordon Ramsay. “Search efforts continue with 8-12 personnel on the ground at base camp and utilizing Zodiac boats, Canoes, ROV, Drones, and K-9 teams in a variety of search sorties in and around the area. Additionally staffing continues at Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and assistance with flight operations.”

Crews will continue searching into next week. Flights in and out of the area will be unavailable until Monday.

Authorities received the call that 2 canoes had gone over Curtain Falls during an incident the night of May 18 and that one party was badly injured and two individuals were missing.

Around 12:30 a.m. that night, a DNR helicopter was used to extract one injured person, a 47-year-old from Ham Lake, Minnesota, and an uninjured party, a 43-year-old also from Ham Lake. The injured individual was flown to Essentia Duluth with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

This story will be updated as further information is made available.