Currents hamper search for car sunken in Mississippi

Maj. Darrell Huggett
Maj. Darrell Huggett of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office speaks with reporters on Sunday near the Mississippi River where a car sank.
Matt Sepic/MPR News

Hennepin County sheriff's deputies say they'll continue to search the Mississippi River in Minneapolis until they find a vehicle that sunk Sunday morning near the University of Minnesota, despite heavy wind, rain and powerful currents.

Maj. Darrell Huggett said a jogger called 911 just before 9 a.m. to report seeing a vehicle in the water near the east bank side of the 10th Avenue bridge.

Huggett says the car floated several hundred yards downstream before a police officer saw it sink. A buoy was placed in the approximate place where the car went under, and investigators are using side-scan sonar to search the river bottom because the current has been too swift for divers.

"The current is about four to five times what it normally is in the summertime, so the water is just whipping," he said. "Normally when a vehicle submerges nose first it tumbles, so depending on how it landed on the bottom of the river, we don't know if it continued down any further."

"If we do get a picture, we'll send a camera down to take a look and try to identify the vehicle and whether there's anyone inside, because we do not know that at this point," he said.

No missing persons reports were filed, and it's possible that someone was getting rid of a stolen vehicle., Hugget said. Investigators are checking footage from security cameras in the area for additional clues.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.