PINE CITY, Minn. (FOX 9) - Law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota honored the life of Conservation Officer Eugene Wynn Sunday as his body was transported from the medical examiner's office to the funeral home in Pine City. Officer Wynn's funeral is set for noon Friday, April 26.
Officer Wynn passed away over the weekend while responding to a call on Cross Lake in Pine City. According to the Pine County Sheriff's Office, at about 7:44 p.m. Friday, dispatch received a call of a possible body in the water in Cross Lake. The call came from a witness fishing from the shore.
Officer Wynn and a deputy responded to the scene and, to get a better look at the object in the water, they launched a boat. Shortly thereafter, the two were thrown from the boat. They began swimming towards shore and additional deputies attempted to rescue them using a nearby row boat. When authorities reached the deputy, they retrieved him, and he was transported to the hospital.
However, Officer Wynn went under the water before authorities could get to him. Officials say the conservation officer's body was recovered at about 1:35 a.m. after an intensive search.
Officer Wynn, who patrolled the Pine City station since 2001, is survived by his wife and two children.
Wynn is the 22nd conservation officer in Minnesota to die in the line of duty.
"Words can't describe the sense of loss we feel at this time," said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. "Officer Wynn's service to the state of Minnesota is a debt we can never repay."
The Pine County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cause the accident. Officials did not recover the object that was initially reported.
Organizers with Backing the Blue Line are asking supporters to help arrange blue roses for the funeral. The group will meet at 4 p.m. April 25 at the Pine City Fire Hall at 400 5th Street SE.