(Mankato, MN) – The case of a missing elderly man whose car was found unoccupied near a drainage ditch  has been classified as a probable drowning by Blue Earth County officials.

In a press release, Captain Paul Barta said 92-year-old Marvin Brokenhagen of rural Amboy was reported missing at 6:36 p.m. yesterday by a witness who saw his vehicle parked by a drainage ditch at County Road 32 and County Road 144 in Pleasant Mound Township.

People familiar to Brokenhagen told police the missing man will occasionally free ice and debris from a field culvert that feeds into the drainage ditch.  A tool he commonly used was found in the water near the opening of the culvert and his car parked in close proximity, according to the release.

A ground search with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol’s helicopter was done, but search operations were suspended overnight and resumed early this morning.  Police say Brokenhagen was still missing as of 5 p.m. Friday.

The drainage ditch – approximately 10 years wide –  eventually joins with Willow Creek.  Water was estimated to be roughly 8 feet deep.  Barta described the water flow during search efforts as a “steady rate.”

The search is ongoing.  Assisting the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office was the Lewisville Fire Department, Minnesota State Patrol, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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