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Remains of Parker Kruse found near Blue River
Remains of Parker Kruse found near Blue River
Wisconsin River at Blue River

Nearly a year after a 22-year-old Arena man went missing in the Wisconsin River following a boat accident, the man’s body was found by campers Saturday afternoon.

Parker Kruse disappeared while he, his girlfriend and a friend were camping on a sandbar near Spring Green July 3.

A group of canoeists found Kruse’s remains just onto the Steamboat Island sandbar about one-fourth mile east of the Blue River bridge Saturday around 3:20 p.m. while they were setting up their camp, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Blue River firefighters helped get Grant County deputies and the coroner to the island. The remains were transported to shore, where family members identified the remains.

Blue River EMS and the state Department of Natural Resources assisted at the scene Saturday. 

According to family members quoted by news media last July, a boat went by their sandbar and hit something in the river, throwing the boat’s driver overboard. Kruse and his friend tried to rescue the boat driver and get control of the driverless boat, but the boat hit both of them and their boat, throwing Kruse into the water.

Kruse’s life jacket, which wasn’t fastened, was found floating in the river.

The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office dive team and Spring Green Fire searched for Kruse, but were unable to find him. 

Family members continued searching for Kruse throughout last year. Signs along the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway warning of the river’s dangers included a picture of Kruse.

Services were held for Kruse in Black Earth in late November. A Parker Kruse Memorial Fund has been established.