18-year-old woman drowned while carrying several children to safety, police say


Minnesota Police said Raina Lynn Neeland, 18, drowned after transporting several children to safety near a roadblock.

Police responded to a call about a drowning Monday night, according to the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office. Clearwater County is approximately 250 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

Witnesses told officers several children were swimming in a river near the Clearwater Dam on Clearwater Lake.

Some were caught in the rushing waters that came from the dam and, according to police, “could not free themselves”.

“The water level at the dam was considerably higher due to the large amount of rain received recently,” the sheriff’s office said.

An 8-year-old girl was lifted from the water and resuscitated. Neeland, who witnesses said had been underwater for about 10 minutes, was also removed but remained unresponsive despite several rescue efforts from witnesses and medics.

Neeland put several of the younger children to safety before going underwater, police said.

A GoFundMe campaign shared by the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page indicates that Neeland drowned while saving her young cousins.

“Raina loved cooking with her grandmother and she also loved taking care of her siblings and cousins,” says the campaign.


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