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Performer Mayyadda singing at the University of Minnesota Juneteenth Celebration “We Are The Noise: The Echoes of Our Ancestors” captured on Saturday, June 15.
Best photos of June '24
Published June 23, 2024

Student’s body found in Mississippi River

Friends remembered Rachel Dow at a celebration of her life Jan. 17.

Outgoing, unselfish, friendly, brave, confident, unafraid and a part of everything beautiful.

Those are a few ways friends described Rachel Dow, a 29-year-old women\’s studies student who never made it home Jan. 11.

“She always catered to others\’ needs whether they were her best friend or a new acquaintance,” her friend Mark Emery said.

Dow was last seen at the Uptown Bar and Cafe on Jan. 11, and left alone on her bicycle around 1:15 a.m.

Brian Rose, a friend and co-worker at Cars-R-Coffins, said Dow loved to bike around the city.

She didn\’t even own a car, he said. She biked everywhere she went.

So when she didn\’t come home, friends starting looking for her and her blue bicycle.

The bicycle was found the morning of Jan. 12 near a paved bicycle trail on West River Parkway and 38th Street East, but Dow wasn\’t found with it.

Emery was there when the bicycle was found, and said one of the dozen friends looking for Dow called police to file a report.

When blood was found on the bicycle, Emery said Minneapolis police turned the area into a crime scene.

A little while later, one of the searchers found Dow in the Mississippi River near a hole in the ice.

“Off of West River Parkway there are some hiking trails that lead down to the river,” Emery said, “It\’s pretty steep.”

Jon Provenzano, Dow\’s friend for eight years, said Dow liked to go down by the river to think.

“She liked the sound of the water and the beauty of the location,” he said. “She was known for going to those kinds of places late at night; they were therapeutic.”

Rose said Dow enjoyed her solitary time, and wasn\’t afraid to go out by herself late at night.

“The first thing a lot of people say is \’What was she doing by herself down by the river at that hour?\’ But she wasn\’t afraid of it,” he said. “She wasn\’t afraid to be alone at any time, in any circumstance.”

Authorities are still uncertain as to what happened to Dow on Jan. 11 and what caused her death.

Minneapolis Police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said the department is still investigating Dow\’s death, and is waiting on a cause of death from the medical examiner.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner\’s Office said it will be a few weeks before a cause of death is determined.

Provenzano said Dow lived for the moment, and was finding herself at the time of her death.

“She wasn\’t going to do anything until she found out that that was what she wanted to do,” he said.

Her friends said Dow had figured out what she wanted to do – she wanted to be a high school teacher.

A celebration of life for Dow was held Thursday.

Provenzano said it was her look of confidence that he will remember the most.

“There was something about her eyes, that look she gave you. She was very confident. When she was around, you knew things would be OK,” he said. “It was her look. It was priceless. You felt you were glad you knew her.”

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