Zamlen's body found in Mississippi River

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated May 1, 2009 at 9:28 PM CDT

The search for 19-year-old Dan Zamlen of Eveleth reached a sad end on Friday. Authorities pulled his body from the Mississippi River, bringing a 27-day search to an end.

A friend of the Zamlen family said Dan's parents--Sally and Dale--are asking for privacy during this difficult time.

"We did get the phone call today ...that his body was found and that's a real tough time for us and for our kids," said Jeff Mauston, one of Dan's high school teachers. "He was a very important part of our community and he will be missed."

The University of Saint Thomas student disappeared on April 5th after leaving a party. He was last heard talking with a friend on a cell phone, when the line abruptly went dead. Since then hundreds of friends and strangers from all over Minnesota have come together to search for Zamlen.

"It's devastating you know, you have hope, and I think we all have hope right until the very end, but at this point I think it's a shock," said Kathy Merkel, a family friend of the Zamlens.

Zamlen's teachers and coaches back home say hearing today's news has been very difficult.

"You know, everybody knew Dan--he was a kid that was in everything in High School--a three- sport athlete, just a straight 'A,' honor roll student and...would do anything for you," said Mauston.

Merkel says Zamlen won't be forgetten.

"You know he was an angel in life, but now he's going to be an angel," she said.

A prayer service was held on Friday in St. Paul for Zamlen. Counseling services are being provided in the Twin Cities area for those seeking support in dealing with Dan's passing.

A fundraiser planned for next Wednesday in Eveleth will go on as scheduled.