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Man found dead under Grand Forks bridge died from using meth, coroner concludes

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Frozen Body

Emergency personal investigate a scene were police say a person was found dead on March 22 in Grand Forks next to the railroad bridge by the Red River.

GRAND FORKS  — A man found dead and partially encased in ice under a Grand Forks railroad bridge in March died from using meth, according to a coroner’s report. Hypothermia also contributed to the death.

The Grand Forks County Coroner’s Office ruled the cause of death for Donald James Campbell of Cando, “acute intoxication of methamphetamine,” according to a report obtained Thursday. The death was ruled an accident.

The 31-year-old’s body was found March 22 by a pedestrian under the railroad bridge that crosses the Red River in Grand Forks. Police pulled the body from a wooden bridge pier on the Grand Forks side.

Campbell had listed the Northlands Rescue Mission in downtown Grand Forks as a temporary address. It’s unclear how long he was at the mission or why he left. The Coroner’s Office deferred questions to the Grand Forks Police Department, stating investigating agencies must release information.

When asked how long Campbell had been deceased, Grand Forks Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said there is a limited amount of information that can be released when it comes to autopsy reports.

Mission Executive Director Sue Shirek said information regarding how long a client stayed at the facility or the reason behind his or her departure is considered confidential, citing policy that protects client information “even if the client is deceased.”

April Baumgarten is a business and political journalist for the Grand Forks Herald. Contact her at (701) 780-1248 or abaumgarten@gfherald.com. Follow her on Twitter @aprilbaumsaway.

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