Search continues for missing Le Sueur woman

Nestled at the junction of two major highways, Le Sueur is a town you pass along the way, but for 20-year-old Mariah Zwart, this may be where her journey came to an end.

"The river is a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous place," Brett Mason, Chief Deputy of Le Sueur County warned.

The danger of the Minnesota River didn't stop Mariah and her friend from coming down here Thursday night. According to investigators, the pair pitched a camp on a sand bar. At some point, something went terribly wrong.

"The friend made it back to her residence, and the victim has not been found since," said Mason.

Mariah was first reported missing just after 6 a.m. on Friday. Investigators believe both women had been drinking, but don't believe there was any foul play. Instead, searchers worry the river, dark and dangerous, is their primary suspect. Searchers say one of the things that makes this river dangerous this time of year is that it's a little bit low, that makes the current really swift. Add in alcohol and you've gone an extremely dangerous situation.

"When someone comes in and they put their feet in and it's two feet of water." Mason said. "And they take one more step and it's at eight feet."

For now, searchers are holding out hope they might find Mariah alive. Along the river, searchers drug combs across the bottom. Agencies from across Minnesota have officered assistance. The search ending only when Mariah is found.

If anyone has any information regarding Zwart's whereabouts, please contact the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Office at (507) 357-4440, or Le Sueur Police Department at (507) 665-3313.

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