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Cause of death ‘undetermined’ for man found in rural Mankato woods

(Mankato, MN) – Police say the cause of death for a man found deceased in a wooded area in rural Mankato is undetermined.

A press release from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office says the Ramsey County Medical Examiner found no trauma or injury to the body of 23-year-old Shane Zephier of Minneapolis.  Zephier was found deceased by a hunter on October 10 in a wooded area northeast of Highway 83 and County Road 12.

Zephier was arrested in Lake Crystal on August 27 for alleged shoplifting.  He was released from the Blue Earth County Jail later that same day and was last seen walking alone away from the jail around 3 p.m.

Police say discussion with Zephier’s friends and family revealed probable medical and mental health concerns.

“Shane declined numerous efforts by law enforcement officials to link him with medical and transportation assistance throughout their contact with him,” says the release from Captain Paul Barta.

Investigators say foul play is not suspected in Zephier’s death, but that any relevant information provided by the public will be investigated.

Anyone with information should contact the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s office at (507) 304-4863.

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