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No charges expected in 10,000 Lakes music festival death

No charges are expected in the death of a young Wisconsin woman during a music festival near Detroit Lakes, Minn., last week, said Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon.

Gordon said if something such as alcohol is involved, it would be impossible to determine where it came from, given the communal atmosphere at the 10,000 Lakes Festival.

Preliminary autopsy information indicated no foul play or trauma was involved in the death of Ashley McCoy, 17, of West Salem, Gordon said.

Toxicology results are still pending, but barring major surprises Gordon said he doesn't foresee criminal charges being filed.

Gordon also said a name his office released earlier this week, identifying McCoy's companion at the music festival, was incorrect.

The correct name is Jordan Sommer, 19, of Onalaska, Wis., Gordon said.

Authorities were notified shortly after noon on Friday that McCoy had been found unresponsive and not breathing.

Greg Jones, 31, of Seattle was camped near the couple when he heard a male screaming that his girlfriend wasn't breathing.

Jones, one of the first to reach McCoy, checked for a pulse and found none.

He said it was apparent she had been dead for some time.

Jones said it bothered him to think he had been so close to McCoy when she needed help.

Jones said he couldn't sleep Thursday night and when he got up he noticed McCoy and her boyfriend had a robust campfire going about 4 a.m. Friday morning.

He said he noticed it was still burning 30 minutes later.

"She (McCoy) seemed very, very friendly; both she and her boyfriend," Jones said, adding the campers in that area of the Soo Pass Ranch had all introduced themselves to one another.

Jones, who was at the music festival last year when two men died of drug overdoses, said people experimenting with various substances "is pretty common" at the event.

He said the responsibility for making sure no one gets hurt rests with friends.

"People need to learn to take a little better care of each other," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

Dave Olson
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