Police: Search continues for missing UMN student who fell into Mississippi

University student Chris Stanley went missing last week.

A prayer vigil is held for Chris Stanley at Oak Grove Lutheran Church on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

Carter Jones

A prayer vigil is held for Chris Stanley at Oak Grove Lutheran Church on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

by Natalie Rademacher

Police, family and friends continued to search over the weekend for a University of Minnesota student swept into the Mississippi River last week.

Chris Stanley, a 22-year-old neurobiology senior, was last seen the evening of April 25 when he fell into the river while he and a friend were sitting near the water, the Minneapolis Park Police Department said.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has searched the river with help from Minneapolis Park Police.

As of Sunday afternoon, there were no new updates in the search.

“We will have people searching every day,” a Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.

The Park Police has asked for the public’s help in the search.

The search began near St. Anthony Falls, where Stanley was last seen. Since then, it has moved towards the Bohemian Flats, said a Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.

Stanley’s family and friends have voiced support on social media while the search continues.

“He is our friend. He is an intelligent, passionate and kind hearted young man who touches the lives of everyone he meets,” the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, of which Stanley was an active member, posted on Facebook.

Students and community members have gathered at vigils to pray and show support for Stanley and his family.

Stanley’s mother, Melissa Melnick, has used social media to update friends and family using the hashtag, “Find Chris.”

“I have great confidence the water patrol is doing everything they can to #findchris. Please continue to pray for them as they do this very emotionally difficult and physically exhausting and dangerous work,” Melnick wrote in a Saturday Facebook post.

On Saturday, a climate march in downtown Minneapolis ended where Melnick and others were praying near the Stone Arch Bridge and where the search for Stanley was being conducted.

The organizer of the event knew Chris and asked those present to keep Chris, an environmental activist, in their thoughts and prayers, Melnick wrote in a Facebook post.

Melnick’s post also described the importance of faith in Stanley’s life. “I told Chris he would someday be a preacher. I think he already is a preacher.”