Bemidji Man Found Dead in the Mississippi River

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office has identified a man found dead in the Mississippi River over the Labor Day weekend. Authorities have ruled the death of 65-year-old Francis Normen Smith accidental.

Someone called authorities after they spotted clothing floating near the shoreline of the Mississippi River. Deputies found Smith’s body in the river between Lake Irvine and Lake Bemidji about ten feet from shore, facing down in the weeds.

The Bemidji Fire Department came to help remove the body. The autopsy shows no foul play and the death has been ruled an accident.

Authorities say Smith had no known address and apparently had been camping nearby.