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Second body found in Mississippi River near Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS — The body of a second man has been found in the Mississippi River, adding more questions to the ongoing investigation involving the suspicious death of a local man, the Little Falls Police Department reported Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Robert Arndt, 36, was found dead during a coordinated search of the river by the Morrison and Crow Wing counties dive teams. Arndt had been reported missing after authorities were unable to locate him for questioning following the death of Brownsdale native William "Billy" Blake, a 34-year-old man who graduated from Hayfield in 2000.

Arndt's body has been transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. Blake's body was sent there Monday.

The cause of death for both men remains under investigation, but authorities consider both to be suspicious; homicides have not been ruled out, according to Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers.

The Little Falls Police Department is being assisted by the Morrison County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force.


Blake was last seen alive on Oct. 14 when he was dropped off near the Burlington Railroad Bridge for a meeting with Arndt. Blake's body was recovered from the river Sunday near that spot, three days before Arndt's body was recovered near that same location.

Arndt and Blake both have lengthy criminal records. Blake served 180 days in jail for a 2014 felony drug conviction, while Arndt was recently released from prison after being convicted of leading authorities on a high-speed chase and a string of burglaries.

Anyone with information about Arndt or the Blake's death is asked to contact the Little Falls Police Department at 320-616-5570.

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