Cause of Death Released for Man Found Dead in Proctor Railyard

Jack Cotrell (Facebook)

DULUTH, Minn. – Authorities have identified the body that was recovered near Stark and Ugstad Road on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Jack Cotrell, 51, was entered as a missing person on Oct. 16 and had not been heard from or seen since Oct. 1.

According to a news release, family and friends had learned of his possible involvement with theft of copper wire from the Canadian National railyard in Proctor. Law enforcement agencies were able to find parties involved and determined that Cotrell was most likely still in the vicinity of the railyard.

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad was alerted of this information and began a search of the area. Cotrell’s body was located on Tuesday by authorities. Cotrell’s remains were positively identified today by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office indicates that no foul play is suspected in this death and preliminary results indicate drowning as a cause of death.

Toxicology and autopsy reports were released on Nov. 29 by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. According to the report, Cotrell’s death was ruled an accident with a cause of “methamphetamine toxicity,” along with immersion in water and pulmonary emphysema. Investigators believe Cotrell had been crossing a swamp to avoid being caught after he was observed by railyard employees.

No evidence of foul play was found by authorities in regard to his actual death. However, authorities say the behavior of his associates is reprehensible, or worthy of punishment. These individuals would not come forward or volunteer information to assist in locating Cotrell for fear of punishment for stealing copper.

Cotrell’s death remains under investigation at this time.