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Oklee man dies, brother in serious condition, after suffering hypothermia

OKLEE - An Oklee man died and his brother is in serious condition after apparently suffering hypothermia early Wednesday near their home, according to the Red Lake County Sheriff's Office.

At 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, hunters passing by saw a man lying in a dirt field. They told authorities he was breathing and unresponsive, but the man stopped breathing and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Authorities identified the man as 98-year-old William Larson. He was found about one-quarter of a mile southeast of his house, where he had lived with his 95-year-old brother Carl for several decades.

A neighbor who went to the house to tell Carl discovered that he was missing. After a 30-minute search, Carl was found about one-tenth of a mile from the house in a ditch by a neighbor's driveway.

Carl was responsive but appeared to be suffering from hypothermia, and was taken to a hospital in Thief River Falls. An administrative supervisor said he was in serious condition Wednesday night.

Carl and William were not properly dressed for the elements, authorities said, and it appears one of the brothers wandered out of the house in the early morning and the other went to look for him. The low temperature in the Oklee area Tuesday night dropped down to about 45 degrees.

Ryan Johnson is a reporter at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald. The Herald and the Bemidji Pioneer are owned by Forum Communications Co.