An autopsy report is expected to be completed next week on the body of a missing western Wisconsin woman who was found in the Mississippi River.
Marya Christiansen’s body was found in her white Dodge Caravan, which was pulled from the river on Wednesday evening, according to the Pierce County, Wis., Sheriff’s Department.
Christiansen, 23, who lived with her boyfriend and her two children near Hager City, Wis., had been missing since she had headed home alone about 2:30 a.m. Saturday after socializing with four friends at a bar in Red Wing, Minn., across the river, and later at a home belonging to one of the friends, Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove said.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol found Christiansen’s van in the river near the Trenton Island boat launch under, what is known as the back channel bridge. The road approaching the bridge makes a slight hook, but Christiansen’s vehicle went straight and onto the grass between the bridge and the boat dock and into the river, Hove said.
“It is with great sadness that Marya’s family says goodbye to their loved one,” her family wrote late Wednesday in a posting on the “Please Find Marya Christiansen” Facebook page. “Marya’s family would like to thank everyone for all of their efforts in finding Marya and support that you have shown them.”
Condolences poured into the site from family, friends and community members who had helped search for her.
Authorities don’t suspect any foul play. “But we’re not ruling out anything until the investigation is complete,” Hove said.
Several law enforcement agencies, including Pierce County, Wis., the Wisconsin State Patrol, Red Wing police and fire, Goodhue County, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Civil Air Patrol as well as Siewerts Towing and Recovery, United Legacy, a nonprofit volunteer search group as well as family and friends, helped search for Christiansen.
Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report. Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788