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Northfield police fear they may not be able to find missing 6-year-old Elle Ragin

Search for missing 6-year-old expands to Mississippi River
Search for missing 6-year-old expands to Mississippi River 02:20

NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- Police say they fear the search for a missing Minnesota girl may not be successful.

Investigators think 6-year-old Elle Ragin's mother had something to do with her disappearance from Northfield last month. Police say that Ragin was last seen on June 19.

Police found her mother, 39-year-old Lisa Wade, dead at their home over the weekend from an apparent suicide. Results from an autopsy are pending. 

RELATED: "Just a darling little girl": Elle Ragin still missing as search continues

Since Ragin's reported disappearance, police have received hundreds of leads, including clues that pointed them to Mississippi River County Park near Rice. That's where they found Ragin's cellphone on land, and her mother's phone and purse in the water.

According to police, a Stearns County deputy had contact with Wade on June 23 at the park near her parked vehicle. She said she lost her phone and car keys while hiking and needed assistance. She was alone at the time. 

Police say cell phone records obtained by search warrant discovered that Wade drove from her home to the park on June 21. At about 3 p.m. her cellphone shut off in the area of the park. 

Northfield police believe Ragin's body is somewhere in the park, but say that based on the information and evidence discovered, they may not be able to find her. 

"We are still extremely hopeful," Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott said during a press conference. 

Helicopters, drones and dive teams remain out looking for the little girl. The case remains an open and active investigation. 

Police are asking anyone who saw Ragin or Wade in the last two weeks call the Northfield Police Department at 507-645-4477.

Mental health resources 

If you are having thoughts of suicide, you can text the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 741741 or call 1-800-273-8255.

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