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Hawley man who drowned in Buffalo River had a blood alcohol level of 0.27

HAWLEY - A provisional autopsy report indicates a 66-year-old man whose body was pulled from the Buffalo River in Hawley on Sunday morning drowned and had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle.

James "Jim" L. Johnson was pulled from the water about 7:30 a.m. - two hours after family members reported him missing. Police believe Johnson left his son's house on the west side of the river about 9:15 p.m. Saturday, according to Hawley Police Chief Ernest Rhodes.

Rhodes said the provisional Ramsey County Medical Examiner's autopsy report he received this morning indicates Johnson's cause of death as a fresh water drowning.

Johnson also had a blood alcohol content of 0.27 percent, Rhodes said.

There were no signs of trauma and police are investigating his death as accidental.

"At this point we have nothing that would lead us in any other direction," Rhodes said.