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Northfield, MN (KROC-AM News) - The focus of the investigation into the disappearance of a six-year-old Northfield girl is now on a stretch of the Mississippi River in central Minnesota.

Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott held a news conference this afternoon to provide an update concerning the ongoing search for Elle Ragin and the investigation into the child's disappearance. He says multiple search teams with expertise in water searches are scouring a section of the Mississippi River in Stearns County for any sign of the little girl.

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Chief Elliott says investigators believe the girl's mother, 39-year-old Lisa Wade, traveled to the Mississippi River County Park north of St. Cloud on June 21. Investigators reviewed her cell phone records and determined it was turned off inside the park on the afternoon of June 21. Two days later, a Stearns County deputy came upon Wade, and after she informed him that she had lost her keys, he assisted her in getting her vehicle towed to a dealership in the St. Cloud area to get a new key made for it.

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Wade was found dead from a suspected suicide in her Northfield residence on July 2 after a family member requested police conduct a welfare check. The Northfield police chief indicated Wade had made contact with family members the previous week and they stated she "seemed distraught."

Chief Elliott says the ongoing search of the park and the river in Stearns County has led to the recovery of Elle's non-active cell phone on land and her mother's cell phone, and a purse containing her driver's license and key fob in the river. He says investigators reviewing surveillance camera videos were able to locate Wade at various locations between June 23 and July 2, but her daughter was not with her at any of those times.

Elliott told reporters today, “We are still extremely hopeful, but based on the evidence we have at this time, we’re concerned we may not be able to find her.”

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.

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