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State DOJ investigating officer-involved death after body found in Monona lagoon

State DOJ investigating officer-involved death after body found in Monona lagoon

Monona police

The state Department of Justice is investigating the death of a person whose body was found in a Monona lagoon on Monday as an officer-involved death, since the death happened after a police chase.

The body was found in a lagoon along the 500 block of River Place. Two days earlier, on Saturday, Monona police were involved in a car chase nearby that ended when the car crashed and the driver fled.

Early Saturday, Monona police saw a “vehicle of interest” related to violent crimes in Madison, DOJ said in a statement. The vehicle sped by officers before it crashed into some trees. The driver fled the scene on foot, and authorities were unable to find the person after a K9 track and search.

DOJ said property located in the vehicle has been identified as belonging to the person found in the lagoon. But the agency said DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation is still trying to determine how the body found in the lagoon is connected to the vehicle crash.

The officers involved in the chase have been placed on paid leave, as is department policy. No officers were injured in the incident.

DCI is leading the investigation with assistance from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office, the State Patrol and the DOJ’s Office of Crime Victim Services. DCI will turn over reports from the investigation to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is complete.

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