Large-scale search after reported ATV accident in Mahnomen County

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 11:52 AM CDT
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MAHNOMEN COUNTY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Several first responders and area law enforcement agencies spent hours searching a five-mile radius on Sunday, after someone called reporting an ATV accident. However, nothing was turned up and now investigators are turning to the public.

On October 1 at approximately 5:30 a.m. the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call on the non-emergency line. The caller said there was an ATV accident at the dead end of the Roy Lake landing (campground). The caller said the victim was bleeding from the head and did not have a pulse. The caller also said they had a warrant out for their arrest, did not want to identify themselves, and hung up.

The Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office, White Earth Police Department, MN State Patrol, Emergency Management, White Earth Conservation, Twin Lakes Fire, Mahnomen Fire, Naytahwaush Ambulance, and Mahnomen Ambulance responded to the area. Searches were performed on foot, by ATV, by drone, and by State Patrol helicopter, until approximately 3:30 p.m.

Officials say the span of the search grew to over a five-mile search radius. There was no evidence of an ATV crash near the reported crash site, and law enforcement spoke with several people living in the area and no one noticed any ATV traffic during the time of the reported crash.

An investigator determined that the phone the call was made from did not have an active cell phone plan, therefore the call had to be made from a place where there was Wi-Fi signal. The caller was likely not at the Roy Lake landing when the call was placed.

Law enforcement and emergency management determined that the report may have been flawed or not credible, however, they say the report is being taken seriously.

The public is encouraged to check on their family, friends, and acquaintances that may have been riding ATV in the Strawberry Mountain/Height of Land area this weekend. If anyone is missing or if anyone has information related to this incident, you are asked to contact the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office at 218-935-2255.