Authorities release new details about missing Northfield, Minnesota, girl and her dead mother

Police have been searching for Elle Ragin, 6, since her mother, Lisa Wade, 39, was found dead of an apparent suicide on July 2 in her Northfield home.

Northfield Police are looking for Elle Ragin, 6, after the death of her mother on Saturday, July 3, 2022.
Northfield Police Department
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NORTHFIELD, Minnesota — In their ongoing search for a missing Northfield 6-year-old, authorities on Tuesday, July 5, revealed that the hunt is now focusing on the Mississippi River and an adjacent Stearns County park.

Police have been searching for Elle Ragin, 6, since her mother, Lisa Wade, 39, was found dead by an apparent suicide on July 2 in her Northfield home.

A news release Tuesday from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension gave the following details, noting that the authorities have followed up on hundreds of leads:

Authorities say they have determined that Elle was last seen on Sunday, June 19.

Two days later, at about noon, her mother drove her black Honda SUV to Mississippi River Park in Stearns County just outside of Rice, Minnesota, according to her cellphone records. A few hours later, at 3 p.m., her cellphone turned off.


Another two days later, at 9 a.m. June 23, Wade told a Stearns County deputy that she had lost her phone and car keys while hiking in the park and needed his help. She was near her parked vehicle at the time. The deputy arranged to have her SUV towed to a dealership near St. Cloud to get a new key made for it.

During the week of June 25, family members who had contact with Wade told investigators that she seemed “distraught.”

After learning about Wade’s visit to the park, authorities searched the park and river with canines, drones, dive teams, boats, underwater search drones and organized search teams, but did not locate the girl.

They did find the girl’s cellphone in the park. They found Wade’s cellphone and a purse containing her driver’s license and vehicle key fob in the river.

On Tuesday, authorities continued searching the park and river, and that stretch is closed to the public.

Officials also revealed that they found video footage of Wade between June 23 and July 2 at various locations, but that Elle wasn’t with her.

Police ask anyone with information about Elle Ragin’s disappearance to call 911.


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