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Mike Schantzen of the Anoka County Sheriff Department, took pictures near the area where a car went into the river, Friday, April 4, 2014 in Ramsey.

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

A car sat in the river, Friday, April 4, 2014 in Ramsey.

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

Travis Benjamin

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Divers to resume search Sunday for man missing in Mississippi River

  • Article by: Kelly Smith
  • Star Tribune
  • April 5, 2014 - 7:12 PM

The search will continue Sunday for Travis Benjamin, the 39-year-old who went missing after his SUV went into the Mississippi River early Friday morning in Ramsey.

While authorities suspended dive searches Saturday citing the dangerous current, a dozen of Benjamin’s friends spent hours scanning the shoreline and combing the woods along the river for any sign of the Ramsey resident.

“We’re not giving up hope,” said friend Jess Crassweller. “If there’s any chance he got out of the water, we want to be there.”

Authorities have not yet identified Benjamin, an Atlanta native, but friends and family said Saturday that he’s the missing man.

“It’s not believable,” his mother, Shirley Benjamin, said Saturday from her Georgia home before flying to Minnesota. “He’s my baby.”

Not long before he went missing, she said she was texting back and forth, teasing her son about the snowy weather Thursday night. “[We’re] just praying and worrying,” she said.

Witnesses said Benjamin drove the Hummer through a residential yard shortly after 1:30 a.m., stopped briefly at the river’s edge and then drove into a shallow spot in the river near the 6100 block of Rivlyn Avenue — suggesting that entering the river may be have been intentional.

Witnesses said Benjamin got out of the car, stood on the hood and dropped into the water before disappearing.

 

Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141

© 2014 Star Tribune