ANOKA, Minn. (KMSP) - A Minnesota family is still reeling after the sudden death of St. Cloud State junior Jesse Aaron Dady, 21, of Princeton.
“He was such a good kid, and it was one simple accident. And it ended his life,” Dady’s step-sister, Shayna Evans, told FOX 9 inside her aunt’s Anoka living room on Monday.
“He was outgoing, he was never angry, and even if he was you’d never be able to tell because he always had a smile on his face,” she recounted.
Dady, an aspiring pharmacist, was studying biochemistry at SCSU.
“He got a 4.0 scholarship to go to college,” Evans shared, “school was his first priority, then it was work,” Evans said of her step-brother’s discipline.
Dady’s bright future among the reasons Evans is confident her brother’s death was a sheer mischance.
“He was last seen walking on the railroad bridge trestle,” she continued. It’s unclear why he was there on March 25 at 1:30 a.m. when he went missing.
What’s known of Dady’s final whereabouts that early morning is that he sent off an eerie Snapchat message from the bridge, just over the Mississippi River.
“He sent the snap to four people, and all you could hear was water. And you couldn’t see anything.”
Although police say the dangerous bridge Dady was last spotted walking on isn’t for pedestrians, Evans believes Jesse’s final snap is proof his death was unintentional.
“All of them replied and he didn’t open any of them,” she said his friends’ attempt at reaching Jesse after his final message, “and his phone was off 30 seconds after that.”
Then there’s what Evans discovered on her step brother’s body when he was recovered on March 31.
“He has a gouge right here and it’s pretty obvious that he smacked his head,” she said, pointing to the right side of her forehead.
Up until Friday, the nearly seven days that passed before Dady’s body was found are what Evans describes as nothing short of grueling.
“We heard Hennepin County was the best in the state so we got our hopes up. They gave up after eight hours and we were like, ‘what do we do?’” the 16-year-old said.
Evans and her family highly credit Tom Crossmon, an independent searcher from St. Louis County, Minn. for discovering her step-brother’s body.
Crossmon extended his donation-only services when the family gave up hope.
“He came Friday and he was in the water for four or five hours, and he found Jesse,” Evans nodded, still in awe.
Crossmon then called local law enforcement. Two Stearns County divers then retrieved Jesse’s body.
The effort is one Evans says allows for what she calls “invaluable closure.” Closure she believes wouldn’t otherwise be possible without Crossmon.
“The unknown would be the worst and I just want to get as many donations for Tom as we can because if it weren’t for Tom, [Jesse] would still be in the river,” she said.
For details about Jesse Dady’s visitation and funeral click here. The Jesse A. Dady Donation Account was also set up at US Bank.