Body of Wisconsin college student found in restaurant food elevator

Authorities investigate death of college student


Authorities in Wisconsin are investigating the death of a college student whose body was found Monday in a food elevator at a bar and grill.

Police responded to a 911 call at the WingDam Saloon and Grill in Fountain City at about 8 p.m., and found the body of Brooke Baures, 21, a senior at Winona State University, in the food elevator connected to the kitchen. She was an employee at the restaurant.

There is a multi-agency investigation into the gymnast's death and officials would not speculate on the cause of death until after an autopsy is completed.

Jason Mork, the only police officer in the 859-person city, said the dumbwaiter's opening is about 3 feet by 3 feet, Fox 9 reported. The Winona Daily News reported that the elevator was not intended for employees to enter.

"I highly doubt [Baures] was using [the elevator] to move herself," he told Fox 9.  He said at this point he does not believe foul play was involved.

The restaurant was closed Tuesday night.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, food elevators accidents inside restaurants are rare. According to the OSHA database, only two incidents, both fatal, have happened in the U.S. between 2003 and 2013.

Baures, who majored in social work, was remembered as a "selfless teammate."

"She was one of those kids who touched a lot of people and who was very well liked," Eric Schoh, the university's athletic director, told the paper. "She was a big part of the gymnastics team, but also the athletic department."

The Associated Press contributed to this report