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Officials Recover Body In River

The Roosevelt County Sheriff and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law & Justice announced that at about 1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 3, searchers found and recovered Vinson Cooper’s remains from the Missouri River, approximately 1.5 miles downstream from where he disappeared May 27.

An autopsy will be conducted at the state crime lab in Billings. Results will not be available for several weeks.

On Monday, May 27, at approximately 4:41 p.m., the FPTDLJ responded to the new bridge and the Missouri River on Montana Highway 480 south of Poplar to a report of a male who had fallen off the bridge.

The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Poplar EMS and the Poplar Volunteer Fire Department responded to assist.

It was determined Cooper, 31, had entered the water and had not resurfaced, according to a witness.

The FPTDLJ and RCSO put boats in the water that evening, but were unable to locate Cooper. Boats from the FPTDLJ and RCSO continue to search the water daily. Volunteers came out with boats including Badlands Search and Rescue Service out of North Dakota, tribal chairman Justin Grey Hawk Sr. and several others. Officials transitioned their efforts to a recovery mission on May 30, according to a release from the RCSO.

From the beginning, this search was a collaborative effort. Officials extended their heartfelt gratitude to the following for helping return Vinson to his family:

•All Vinson’s many friends and family members

•Richland County Sheriff’s Office

•Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

•Montana Highway Patrol

•Fort Peck Tribal Roads Department

•Poplar Volunteer Fire Department

•Poplar EMS

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