Police: Missing U of M student went into river

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, March 31, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — A University of Minnesota student missing for three days went into the Mississippi River, Minneapolis police said Monday, and authorities were seeking to recover her body.

Jennifer Houle was seen on video entering the river from the 10th Avenue Bridge early Friday morning, according to a police statement. Police spokesman John Elder wouldn’t say whether the video showed Houle jumping or falling in. Houle, identified by her clothing in the video, was alone on the bridge, Elder said. Police aren’t seeking any suspects.

Houle, 22, was last seen around 1 a.m. Friday at Blarney Pub and Grill in the Dinkytown neighborhood. Police say her purse was found at 3 a.m. about three blocks west of the bar.

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Nearly 300 of Houle’s friends and relatives attended a vigil Sunday evening outside Stillwater Area High School, where she graduated before studying at the university’s Carlson School of Management.

In a statement, university vice provost for student affairs and dean of students Danita Brown Young offered condolences to Houle’s family and friends. The university is offering counseling for students, faculty and staff.

Authorities from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies have been searching the river around and downstream from the bridge since Sunday, said Rebecca Gilbuena, a spokeswoman for the office.