Missing man found deceased near Dakota County Fairgrounds

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The Dakota County sheriff’s office confirmed Wednesday morning that the body of missing man Bruce Peterson has been found. Peterson, 61, was last seen at about 10 p.m. Sunday night, July 2 at the Dakota County Fairgrounds near Farmington, Minnesota.

"Thanks for your assistance searching and providing tips and support," the sheriff posted on Twitter. "Bruce Peterson was found deceased today. Our condolences to his family."

Three days of searches were conducted, with Dakota County deputies joining about 50 volunteers with ATVs and a drone on July 4.

Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie said a volunteer member of the search group returned to the area Wednesday morning and found Peterson’s body at about 9:30 a.m. in a wooded area adjacent to the fairgrounds. An organized search effort was scheduled to resume at 10 a.m.

The Hennepin County medical examiner is at the scene investigating the death. The sheriff could not yet comment on the circumstances of Peterson’s death, but said no foul play is suspected.

Peterson was visiting from out of state, and was staying at the fairgrounds with his wife. He went for an after-dinner walk to smoke a cigar when he went missing.