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Boreal Community Media

Family, UMD responds to death of Jacob Lavoie

Sep 06, 2019 05:56AM ● By Editor

By KBJR-TV -  September 7, 2019

A community of family, students, faculty, and staff are mourning Friday night after learning the body of missing UMD student, Jacob Lavoie was recovered Friday afternoon.

The 21-year-old from the Twin Cities had been missing since he left Grandma’s Sports Garden late Saturday night.

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad and Sheriff’s Office were combing the Minnesota Slip in Canal Park around 3 p.m. when they located the body.

It’s been six days since Lavoie was last seen after spending a night out at the bar with his friends.

Lavoie’s last known location was Grandma’s Sports Garden and since then emergency crews and the community have been trying to find him.

Lavoie was seen leaving the garden around midnight and heading towards downtown. His friends say he had been drinking but didn’t appear to be very intoxicated.


On Tuesday, Lavoie was reported missing after his friends went to check on him at his apartment.  His friends say they hadn’t heard from Lavoie for several days and found his car still parked at his place.

That same night, the St. Louis County Rescue squad and the Duluth Police were combing the land and water by the Lakewalk looking for any signs of the missing student.

The next day, Duluth Police asked the public to search a highlighted perimeter around the city, including abandon homes, stairwells, and properties for any clues.

Fast forward to Friday, the worst-case scenario unfolded as crews pulled Lavoie’s body from Lake Superior.

We’re hearing from the Lavoie family for the first time since Jacob was found. In a statement, they write,

“We are devastated by the loss of Jacob. He was our son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend. We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to law enforcement, the University of Minnesota Duluth, the entire Duluth community, the Inver Grove Heights community, as well as everyone far and wide for your caring and concern in helping us locate Jacob. Now that Jacob has been found, we ask for your prayers, and also ask that you respect our privacy during our time of great loss. Thank you.”

UMD Chancellor, Lendley (Lynn) Black released a statement on behalf of the campus writing,

“This is an incredibly sad time. As much as we try to be prepared for something like this, it’s extremely difficult. UMD is such a tight community and we’re concerned for Jacob’s family, his friends on campus, and the faculty and staff that knew him. One of the qualities that defines UMD is the strong contentedness that exists among our community. As much as we may mourn individually for Jacob, our strength is in pulling together and leaning on each other to move forward. In the coming days, we’ll reach out to our students and share resources for those who are grieving this great loss.”

“We acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our community law enforcement agencies who worked on this search– the Duluth Police Department, the UMD Police Department, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Louis County Rescue Squad. We are also so grateful to the community for their sincere support.”

At this time we don’t know how or why Lavoie ended up in the water.

We are expecting to learn more from Duluth Police on Saturday morning.

To see the original article and watch a video report, follow this link to the KBJR-Tv website.

Watch the WDIO-TV report here

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