Jennifer Houle Update: Body Found In River During Search

The search for missing Minnesota coed Jennifer Houle has reportedly come to a tragic, but expected, end. ABC News 6 reports that a woman’s body has been retrieved from the Mississippi River, not far from where surveillance footage showed the missing woman going over a bridge. Right now there hasn’t been confirmation on the identification of the body, but a medical examiner is expected to confirm the identity this week.

The 22-year-old missing University of Minnesota student was last seen nearly a week ago during a night of drinking at a Minneapolis pub. She went missing when she left the pub on foot but never made it to her home. Her purse was found between the pub and the bridge, where surveillance captured her going into the river. Some reports have indicated that she jumped into the river, but others have used other wording. At this time it’s not publicly known exactly how she got into the water from the bridge. The West Central Tribune reports that she fell into the river from the bridge.

While the authorities work on solving this mystery, Jennifer Houle’s sorority sisters — along with hundreds of other people — have gathered in solidarity to remember her. While there have been vigils and balloon releases, social media has also played a large role in spreading awareness and information in this case. The #JenniferHoule hashtag on Twitter is a doorway to a plethora of comments about Jennifer by people who knew her and people who didn’t.

Jennifer Houle’s disappearance has attracted the attention of national media sources, not only because she was a missing coed but because of the attention her case brought on drinking in the college culture. Even Fox News reporter Martha MacCallum tweeted about it, noting that one should never be drunk while alone like Jennifer was. Deaths that result from copious alcohol use are preventable deaths, and any preventable death is a tragedy that comes with a heavy message.

[Photo: Family of Jennifer Houle via WJON]

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