Missing from Lake Bronson since 2013, Dawn Carlson, may have been found after a car and a body were discovered submerged in water last week.
On Thursday, May 25, the Kittson County Sheriff’s Office recovered a car submerged in a small coulee on the south side of Lake Bronson, separated from the lake by Highway 10, which runs between Highway 59 and Greenbush. The car registration indicated it belonged to Dawn Carlson and identification found from a purse inside the car led the sheriff’s office to believe the body was Dawn Carlson. The body was taken to the medical examiner where the body will be officially identified.
Last Thursday’s search was a result of a new look at the case that the Sheriff’s office had begun in April. According to Sheriff Steve Porter, Carlson had mentioned she wanted to start over somewhere new before she disappeared on October 2, 2013. But with no contact with her family, no car showing up, and with no activity in her bank account, suspicions were high that something had happened. Porter said, “The more we looked at it, the more we decided she probably didn’t have the means to move away.”
These factors led the sheriff’s office to suspect that the car could likely be under water. Porter said, “The only thing we can do is methodically search every body of water in our county.” His office purchased a 3-D imaging sonar device and started mapping all bodies of water in the county including gravel pits. At that point they had no idea if a scenario like this would be intentional or accidental, but it gave them a place to start in their new look at the case.
Porter said for the last six weeks, his office had been searching those bodies of water as time allowed between their regular duties, getting permission from land owners to search areas including gravel pits, which can be 50-60 feet in depth.
For more on this story, see this week’s North Star News!