Car In The River-Missing Men

An underwater robotic device was called in Monday to search for two missing men authorities believe may have been in the vehicle that plunged into the Mississippi River off Huff Street early Sunday.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said a search team from Carver County was called in after local authorities conducted an extensive search locally for the two men and turned up nothing on their whereabouts.

Brand said authorities found vehicles belonging to the men but nothing else, including a search of one of the men's Winona apartment.

The two men, a 28-year-old from Winona, and a 29-year-old from La Crosse, were last seen exiting a Winona tavern about 1:20 a.m. Sunday with the two people whose bodies were found in the river.
They were identified as 36-year-Christina Lee Hauser of Winona and 30-year-old Mathew Patrick Erickson of Chatfield.

Brand said one of the back windows in the submerged vehicle had been broken out causing authorities to believe both men may have exited the vehicle while underwater  

Brand said the black box in their vehicle will be checked out by the State Patrol and the accident scene reconstructed to see how fast the vehicle was going before in went into the river.

Brand said the ice on the river was trhree to four inches thick when he vehicle entered the river.

Assisting the Carver County Rescue Team is the Winona County SOAR Team and the Dive Rescue Team.

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