Six-year-old found dead in Koronis

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 7/26/00.

A six-year-old girl, Jeanette Crandall, was found dead in Lake Koronis Saturday evening, the victim of an apparent drowning.

Crandall was in the care of Eileen and Bob Willey, Little Canada, who own a summer place at the seasonal park, King Bee Camp. They were swimming at the beach at Bug-Bee Hive Resort, just down the road from the camp.

The Stearns County 911 Center received a report of a missing six-year-old at 6:29 p.m., and officers from the Stearns County Sheriff's Department and the Paynesville Police Department were dispatched to the resort, according to a report from the sheriff's department. Members of the Paynesville Fire Department and a canine unit from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department assisted in the search.

The child was originally believed to have wandered off from the beach, according to the sheriff's report. "As firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and the canine searched the wooded area, it became apparent that a search of the water would be necessary," continued the report. "Firefighters from the Paynesville Fire Department began a search of the swimming area at the resort. The victim was located at approximately 8:27 p.m. in approxi-mately 4 1/2 feet of water."

Paul Bugbee, an owner of Bug-Bee Hive Resort and King Bee Camp, said in a letter to his neighbors and guests that he was impressed by the assistance people offered in the search for Crandall.

"I was awed by the sense of camaraderie and the outpouring of concern for this little girl whom we'd never met and never known," he wrote. "We all shared the hope that she'd be found happily playing with some other youngsters, laughing and giggling, with nary a care in the worldÉlike all six-year-old children are supposed to do."

On Monday, Bugbee said the accident had dampened the mood at the resort, but that people were starting to swim again by Sunday afternoon.

According to Bugbee, in the 80-year history of the resort, this was the first such incident at the resort. The beach at BugBee Hive is posted as having no lifeguards and, like at most resorts, people swim at their own risk, Bugbee added.

The sheriff's department and the Stearns County Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the apparent drowning.

The last known drowning on Lake Koronis was ten years ago, in June 1990.

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