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Missing Carlton man found dead in lake

The identity of the deceased has yet to be confirmed, but a sheriff's office release presumes it to be a 38-year-old man reported missing on Oct. 31.

Lucas Dudden 1
Lucas Dudden
Contributed / Carlton County Sheriff's Office
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AITKIN COUNTY — The Carlton County Sheriff's Office issued a news release Friday afternoon announcing that the body of a man presumed to be Lucas Dudden has been recovered from Rat Lake, located in Workman Township north of McGregor. The deceased will be sent to a Ramsey County medical examiner to confirm his identity and to determine the likely cause and manner of his death.

Dudden was reported missing on Oct. 31. His last known contact was with his brother on Oct. 26. And his truck was later found on a remote road near Rat Lake, according to his father, Don Dudden, who told the News Tribune earlier this week that he considered his son's disappearance highly suspicious.

"It's not like Luke just to park his truck on a remote gravel road and just take off hiking," he said, noting that his 38-year-old son was an outdoorsman who would be unlikely to get lost in the woods. "Especially in that area, which isn't even good hiking."

Lucas Dudden had been renting a room at a house in Carlton while working for about the past year as a pipefitter helping to rebuild the Superior refinery. Don Dudden, who lives in western Nebraska, told the News Tribune that his son had never before missed so much as a day of work. He was last seen on the job Oct. 25.

Lucas Dudden was born in Nebraska and grew up in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

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Agencies assisting in a massive land and water search in the area included the Carlton and Aitkin County Sheriffs' Offices, the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, the Aitkin County Search and Rescue unit, Christian Aid Ministries-Search and Rescue, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' enforcement division, the Minnesota State Patrol, the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and the Fond du Lac Tribal Police Department.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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