| Brainerd, Minnesota

The body of a missing Sebeka man was found Saturday in the Mississippi River in Brainerd, the Brainerd Police Department reported.

Richard Ernest Paquin, 79, was reported missing around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday after he was discharged from Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. He was supposed to be picked up by a relative, police said, but was nowhere to be found.

Brainerd Police Chief Corky McQuiston earlier said the relative and Paquin had a telephone conversation earlier Wednesday that he would be picked up from the hospital. McQuiston said Paquin had his vehicle parked between Brainerd and Sebeka and the relative was going to take him from the hospital to his vehicle. McQuiston said the vehicle was still at the said location.

According to the hospital’s surveillance cameras, Paquin walked out of the hospital around 12:35 p.m. Because he suffered from a medical condition in which he became easily confused and disoriented, several searches were conducted for Paquin along the Mississippi River shortly after his disappearance. His body was located on the west bank of the river by the BNSF Railway bridge, said Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Stunek, whose firefighters were paged at 2:04 p.m. to assist searchers with the recovery of Paquin’s body.

Further information about how Paquin’s body was found and who found him weren’t available Sunday. Police said his body was transported to Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.

Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Boran, released the following statement Saturday: “We were saddened to learn of the loss of Mr. Paquin. On behalf of Essentia Health- St. Joseph’s Medical Center we extend our condolences to his family and other loved ones. We are honored to have provided care for him and his family.”

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