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UPDATE: Drowning victim identified in Winneshiek County

Florida woman died Sunday afternoon.

Posted: Jul. 22, 2018 7:06 PM
Updated: Jul. 23, 2018 9:14 PM

DECORAH, Iowa – Authorities have identified the woman who drowned on the Upper Iowa River Sunday as Susan Ann Fechhelm, 65 of St. Petersburg, Florida.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says kayakers found Fechhelm’s body around 2:45 pm near the shoreline northwest of Decorah and tried to provide immediate medical assistance. She was eventually moved to Winneshiek Medical Center, where Fechhelm was pronounced dead.

The DNR says Fechhelm was kayaking on the river by herself and is believed to have been in distress. No witnesses saw her capsize. The DNR says Fechhelm was wearing a life jacket in her kayak but it was partially off when her body was discovered.

An autopsy will be performed to determine if any other factors contributed to this drowning. The DNR continues to investigate.

Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office, Decorah Fire Department, Winneshiek County Medical Center Ambulance, Iowa State Patrol, and Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement assisted in this incident.

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