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Teens speak out after finding human remains along Mississippi River: 'I was shocked, I was horrified'

Authorities are waiting for DNA tests to come back to identify the remains.

Posted: Aug. 20, 2018 8:10 PM
Updated: Aug. 21, 2018 6:32 AM

KIMT NEWS 3 – The teenage boys who found human body parts along the Mississippi River over the weekend are speaking out.

The Wabasha County Sheriff’s Office says two boys discovered a torso and an attached leg with a boot while fishing Saturday.

The first to see the remains was Elliott Flatten, of Albert Lea.

“As much time as we spend like out in the woods, hunting or fishing,” Flatten said, “we're bound to find something not good. And I think our time was then, you know.”

This discovery comes after authorities say a human leg was found in July along the river near West Newton.

Back in April, boater David Sheridan, 61, disappeared after taking his sailboat onto Lake Pepin. His boat was found, with the motor running, the next day.

The remains discovered Saturday were found about four miles downriver from where searchers were looking for the missing boater.

DNA tests will reveal if the remains are those of the missing man.

The teens had heard of the missing boater, and believe the person they found is Sheridan.

“I ran out of the woods saying, ‘Hey we found him. We found the body,’” Erik Thompson, of Albert Lea, said. “And they're like, 'shut up, no you didn't.' I'm like, ‘I swear to God.’ My face was like pale, I couldn't even talk.”

Authorities can’t confirm it’s the remains of Sheridan until the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension completes the DNA tests. The Sheriff’s Office tells KIMT they’ll be getting the results back in roughly a week.

Grant Forman, also of Albert Lea, was along too.

“I was shocked, I was horrified that it had even happened,” Forman said, “but like the longer that I think about it, and like the more I acknowledge that it happened, it's almost like the worse the feeling gets.”

For now, the teens are reflecting and sending condolences to the family.

“From the bottom of my heart, I just want to tell his family I feel so sorry for what happened,” Thompson said, “and I'm happy I can give them some closure – me, Elliott, and all of us who were there.”

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