River, Park Searched For Missing 6-Year-Old Northfield Girl

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — Authorities are searching a portion of the Mississippi River and a surrounding park in Stearns County for a missing 6-year-old girl whose mother was found dead of an apparent suicide.

Officials believe Lisa Wade, 39, may have been involved in the disappearance of her daughter, Elle Ragin, before the Northfield woman was found dead Saturday.

Investigators said they have followed up on hundreds of leads and have used boats, dive teams and underwater search drones in their search near Rice.

The girl's cellphone was found on land at Mississippi River Park and Wade's purse and cellphone were found in the river.

Police say Elle was last seen June 19 and four days later her mother had contact with a Stearns County sheriff's deputy at the park and told the officer she lost her phone and car keys while hiking and needed help. The deputy assisted her in getting her vehicle towed.

The FBI and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are helping with the investigation.

Authorities have closed the area where the search continues.