13-year-old dies in apparent drowning north of Bemidji

A teenager died over the weekend in an apparent drowning while she was swimming in a lake north of Bemidji.

The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office says dispatchers first received a report of a missing 13-year-old girl who’d been swimming in Lake Julia — around 10 miles north of Bemidji — just after 5 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities say the girl, who was visiting from the Fargo or Moorhead area, had been swimming off a pontoon and removed her personal floatation device as she got onto the pontoon’s ladder. Then, she went underwater and never resurfaced.

The sheriff’s office says the girl’s friends tried finding her but were unsuccessful and called for help.

Law enforcement and dive teams located the girl’s body in 23 feet of water at around 7:52 p.m.

The girl hasn’t yet been publicly identified, and an autopsy has been scheduled to confirm her cause of death.