Body found in Albert Lea identified as man reported missing in June

Published 9:16 am Friday, September 20, 2019

By Sarah Kocher

The investigation into the body of a man found Monday in Albert Lea will be closed and likely ruled accidental after the medical examiner’s report listed the death as a probable freshwater drowning, an Albert Lea Police Department detective said Thursday.


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Nicholas Richard Ramirez, 21, was identified as the man found in a channel between Albert Lea and Fountain lakes Monday night. Based on the state of the body, Detective Julie Kohl said it was estimated the body was in the water for about 2 1/2 months. Around that time, Ramirez had been reported missing.

“We’re not ruling anything out, but we’re going to be closing the investigation as there’s no foul play,” she said.

He was last seen June 29 heading to Walmart in Albert Lea riding a gray Trek E-Bike, though a few other reported sightings came in, the most recent on July 18. Kohl said she was not aware of any reported sightings following July 18.

Kohl said the body was found in water between approximately 3 and 4 feet deep. The bike has not been found, she said.

The Ramsey County medical examiner performed the autopsy and identified the body based on “body parts,” Kohl said.

She said due to decomposition, there was “not much left” to run an analysis on to determine whether drugs or alcohol were present in his system.

“It appears that this was an accidental death,” Kohl said.

Kohl said the police are uncertain as to where Ramirez entered the water, and a search of the area did not indicate anything.

“We can’t say a lot for certain,” Kohl said. “… It’s not like we’re just saying, ‘Oh, we’re done.’ There’s nothing to go on.”

Any further information about the location of the bicycle or Ramirez’s activities since he went missing would be helpful, Kohl said. Those with information can contact the Albert Lea Police Department.