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Cloquet police identify man found dead in wooded area

Cloquet police say the body of a 33-year-old man was discovered in a wooded area near South Laurel and South Oak streets Monday evening, Feb. 13. Police Chief Steve Stracek identified the man as Darryk Nicholas Martineau Friday morning.

Three elementary school-aged boys discovered Martineau's body, although they initially thought the person was still alive and possibly intoxicated. They told a nearby homeowner, who discovered the man was deceased. The boys had been out searching for a lost dog when they spotted the body.

Stracek said there was no sign of foul play and the preliminary autopsy report came back with no indications of any kind of assault. They are still awaiting toxicology results - it could be months he said before final results are known - and the investigation is still open.

“At this point it appears he was by himself,” Stracek said. “We followed his single set of footprints for quite a distance.”

Stracek added they think the man’s body was only there for one or two days, based on the condition of the body and the weather. 

Stracek said they aren’t ruling anything out yet, but his best guess is that the man died of natural causes.

“It’s an unusual case, but I wouldn’t call it suspicious,” Stracek said Thursday. The man is a resident of the Cloquet area, he said.

A traditional wake will begin for Martineau at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at the Sawyer Center in Sawyer, and last until the services at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Burial will be at the Sawyer cemetery.

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