Body of missing canoeist recovered during search in Boundary Waters near Curtain Falls

The body of one of a Cambridge man missing since his canoe went over a waterfall in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness nearly two weeks ago has been recovered, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office.

Jesse Melvin Haugen, 41, was found during a search Friday near Curtain Falls, a waterfall between Crooked Lake and Iron Lake on the Minnesota-Ontario border. Reis Melvin Grams, 40, of Lino Lakes is still missing.

On May 18, a caller reported to authorities that two canoes had gone over the falls. Two men were missing and another one was badly injured.

The sheriff’s department said at the time that one of the canoes “got into some distress and the others tried to give assistance.” Both went over the falls. The search for the missing men has continued since then, with officials from the Superior National Forest at one point closing off trails, campsites, portages and bodies of water tied to Iron Lake. Last week, Gov. Tim Walz, whose brother was fatally struck by lightning in the BWCAW in 2016, enlisted the National Guard’s help finding the canoeists.

Crews will continue to search for Grams, according to the sheriff’s department.

Haugen owned Rock Solid Plumbing, based in East Bethel. A message posted to his company’s Facebook page said that employees were continuing to work hard for him.

“You worked hard for the last 14 years to get RSP where it is today,” it said. “You are always rock solid. You are our biggest motivator, you are our biggest role model, we won’t let you down. We love you.”

Kyle Sellers and Erik Grams, both of Ham Lake, survived going over the waterfall and Jared Lohse, of Cambridge, was back at the group’s campsite.

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