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Published September 05 2012

Body of man missing since May found in St. Louis County

DULUTH, Minn. - A man with Twin Cities and Iron Range connections reported missing by friends four months ago was found dead in a vehicle along a logging road in northern St. Louis County on Tuesday. Foul play is not suspected, officials said.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office reported that a hiker found the body of Andrew Wagner, 48, in a wooded area off the North Ash Lake Road near Orr early Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities who responded to the scene determined that the vehicle belonged to Wagner, and later determined that the body inside the vehicle was that of Wagner, who had been reported last seen May 3.

At that time, friends expressed concern for Wagner's welfare.

“He sent a text message to a friend who was so alarmed that the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office was contacted. And he left a note with friends he was staying with that was even much more concern,” friend Lara Brown of Minneapolis told the Mesabi Daily News in May. “He didn’t use that word (suicide) specifically. But we’re really worried and fearful.”

Wagner had been last seen May 3 at Greenwood Cemetery in Virginia. Wagner had residences in Cherry and in lower Northeast Minneapolis, a couple blocks from the former Ritz Theater where he had been the artistic director. He had recently been working on a performance at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, Brown said in May.

Several hundred people were involved in the search for Wagner through Facebook, Brown said.