Minnesota News

Northfield police search for missing 6-year-old girl

missing child
Northfield Police are looking for Elle Ragin, 6, after the death of her mother on Saturday.
Northfield Police Department

Updated: July 5, 4:15 p.m.

The search for 6-year-old Elle Ragin is now focused on Mississippi River County Park in Stearns County, after police tracked her mother’s cell phone to the park.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Stearns-Benton Sheriff’s Office dive team have been searching the park since Sunday.

Authorities have found Lisa Wade’s cell phone, purse, and Elle's cell phone in the park.

Wade was found dead in an apartment in the 600 block of Maple Brook Court just before noon on Saturday. That death is an apparent suicide, according to police. Elle was nowhere to be found.

Investigators believe that before taking her own life, Wade, 39, may have had something to do with her daughter’s disappearance.

“We are still extremely hopeful, but based on the information and the evidence we have at this time we are concerned that we may not be able to find her,” Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott said during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Elle Ragin is approximately 3’6”, 45 lbs., with brown curly hair and brown eyes. She was last seen on June 19, according to Northfield Police.

On June 23, a Stearns County deputy encountered Wade alone in the park near her vehicle. She told the deputy she lost her phone and car keys while hiking in the park and needed assistance, Elliott said. The deputy helped her arrange a tow so that she could get a new key for the vehicle.

Elliott said on the week of June 25, Elliott had contact with members of her family and seemed distraught.

Investigators spent Sunday processing the apartment and Wade’s vehicle. Canine teams, drones and a helicopter from the Minnesota State Patrol all searched the area, with no results.

Missing girl with mom
Elle Ragin, 6, shown here with her mother, Lisa Wade. Wade was found dead in her Northfield home from an apparent suicide on Saturday. Police believe she may have had something to do with Ragin's disappearance.
Northfield Police Department

If anyone has seen Elle Ragin or her mother in the past two weeks, they’re asked to call the Northfield Police Department at 507-645-4477 or call 911.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI Minneapolis Field Office are both assisting in the investigation.

Mental health resources from Call to Mind and MPR News