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UPDATED: 20-year-old female BSU student dies after being found in wooded area


BEMIDJI -- A 20-year-old female BSU student was pronounced dead Wednesday morning after she was found unconscious in a wooded area in Bemidji.

Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin said a person out for a morning walk noticed Sandra Lommen, 20, lying in a wooded area near 10th Street Northwest and Rice Avenue. Lommen was unconscious but breathing when officers and emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene at about 8:30 a.m., Mastin said.

Law enforcement said she showed signs of intoxication and hypothermia. Lommen, who was from Bloomington, Minn., was transported by ambulance to the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.

Lommen was a freshman nursing student at BSU. She resided on-campus in Linden Hall. Her body was found about a mile-and-a-half from the dorm.

Scott Faust, BSU director of communications and marketing, said an electronic notification was sent at about 3 p.m. Wednesday informing students of Lommen’s passing.

“It’s been a difficult day, our thoughts are really with her family and we’re focused on helping them in any way we can to deal with this terrible loss,” Faust said.

Faust said the university would be supportive of any future memorials to honor Lommen.

An autopsy to determine the cause of Lommen’s death is scheduled for Thursday with results anticipated to be released later this week, officials said.

The case remains under investigation by the Bemidji Police Department. The Bemidji Fire Department, Bemidji Ambulance and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted police at the scene.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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