Minnesota Man Drowns After Attempting to Rescue His Children From Lake

A Minnesota man drowned on Sunday after reportedly attempting to rescue his two children from a lake in Fridley, Minn.

Police said that "early indications" suggest that two children were in the lake on floatation devices. The children were pulled out away from the shore and struggled to get back, according to police.

As they were trying to swim back to the shore, the children's father attempted to swim out to save them.

Police identified the father as 26-year-old Leland Michael Morris, of Fridley, Minn. On Monday, Morris was pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

The incident occurred around 5:15 p.m. local time on Sunday when officials with the Fridley Police Department, Columbia Heights Police Department, Fridley Fire Department, and Allina EMS received reports of a man drowning in Moore Lake in Findley, according to a press release from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

The press release said that after Morris swam out to help his two children, "he went underwater and did not resurface."

Police said that while the Morris remained underwater, the children's mother and another bystander were able to safely bring the children back to shore without any injuries.

After the children were safely returned to shore, officers with the Fridley Police Department and Fridley Fire Department attempted to search for Morris but were unsuccessful.

According to police, divers from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit located Morris' body. The Anoka County Sheriff's Office said that Morris was found unresponsive by divers.

Morris was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center shortly after his body was recovered from the lake.

"This incident is still under investigation by the Fridley Police Department, Hennepin County Medical Examiner, and Anoka County Sheriff's Office," the sheriff's office said in the press release on Monday.

Anoka County Sheriff community relations coordinator Tierney Peters wrote to Newsweek that "This is certainly a difficult and heartbreaking experience for the loved ones of Leland Morris and we send our deepest condolences to them during this difficult time."

"We encourage all people who will be participating in water activities to engage in them safely by wearing lifejackets, not swimming alone, and swimming in areas supervised by lifeguards," Peters added.

This is the third drowning reported by police in Minnesota over the past several days. On Saturday, a 9-year-old boy died after drowning in the North Mankato Spring Lake Park Swim Facility. A 12-year-old boy was hospitalized on Saturday after he was seen at the bottom of a pool at the North Commons Water Park in Minneapolis.

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Police tape hangs across the street in front of a house in Park City, Kansas on February 26, 2005. Larry W. Smith/Getty