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14-year-old girl drowns in James River near Scotland

SCOTLAND — A 14-year-old girl slipped into the James River and apparently drowned Tuesday night, officials said.

The girl’s name is not being released because she is a minor, but she was a member of the Maxwell Colony. The colony is about six miles northeast of Scotland and six miles southwest of Menno in Hutchinson County.

A call to authorities was made at about 8:30 p.m. The Yankton County Search and Rescue team was on scene for about 2½ to 3 hours, according to Yankton County Emergency Manager Paul Scherschligt. The girl’s body was recovered at about 1:30 a.m.

Authorities said the girl slipped due to the muddy bank and fell into the river, which Scherschligt estimated has a 3-4 mph current on the edge. Due to recent rainfall, he said the river’s channel moving at about 5-6 mph.

On scene were Menno Fire Department; Menno Ambulance; Scotland Fire Department; Yankton County Search and Rescue; South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks and the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office.