MADISON, Minn. (AP) — A teenager who died after he went missing following a party at a farm in Lac qui Parle County was a well-liked, standout football player, school officials said.
Michael Anyasike, 18, of Dawson, Minn., had planned to attend St. John's University in the fall, Dawson-Boyd Superintendent Brad Madsen told the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1g1a00c ).
"You saw him everywhere," Madsen said. "He always had a smile on his face and to adults was very respectful."
The cause of Anyasike's death hasn't been disclosed. He was reported missing about 12 hours after sheriff's deputies responded to a report of an underage drinking party early Sunday at a farm near Madison. Several people fled the party when deputies arrived.
Authorities searched the area after Anyasike was reported missing. He was found and taken to Madison Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Sheriff Rick Halvorson declined to give details about the gathering and Anyasike's death.
"Everybody has a whole lot of questions about what happened," Madsen, the superintendent, said. "Nobody has answers right now."
Anyasike was a key part of Dawson-Boyd's football team, which went 12-2 last year and lost to Mahnomen in the Class 1A final. Anyasike ran for 1,260 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also played on the title-winning team of 2011 and runner-up in 2012.
Blackjacks head football coach Cory Larson told the Marshall Independent that his go-to running back's "teammates have holes in their hearts that may never be healed. He left them with some good memories that, hopefully, they will be able to hang on to."
A prayer service for Anyasike was being arranged at Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson, where the church had invited visitors to come in for personal remembrance and prayer.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com