March 1, 2001

03/01/01: Patrick Runningen, 23, La Crosse, WI

Patrick Runningen, 23, was last seen alive leaving the Nutbush City Limits tavern in LaCrosse, WI on March 1, 2001. Bartenders there told police he sat at the bar by himself, holding his head and looking extremely drunk. He said he needed a quarter to call a cab. The bartender flipped him one and he made a call. A cab arrived, but by then Runningen was gone. Some people at the bar told police they saw Runningen leave about midnight and walk south toward LaCrosse.

Two fishermen called police on March 7 to say they'd read about Runningen's disappearance in the media. They said they found a hole in the ice covering the Black River, which runs just behind Nutbush, on March 2, the day after Runningen disappeared. Searchers dragged the area on March 8 and found Runningen's body. Toxicology reports found no signs of drugs in his system. His blood-alcohol content was 0.24 percent. Police concluded Runningen had probably walked out on the ice and broke through.

Facts of Interest in This Case
Name/age: Patrick Runningen, 23 (from West Salem, WI)
College: no information
Physical description: no information
Last seen: 03/01/01 NutBush City Limits Tavern (3264 George St.)
Recovered: 03/08/01, Black River by French Island Beach
Cause of death ruling: drowning
Manner of death ruling: accident
Injuries: no signs of trauma or altercation
Blood Alcohol Content: .24


Anonymous said...

So, is he considered one of the victims of the smiley face killer??? Not much info. There's not even a picture of him...

Anonymous said...

Is the spot where he was found north or south of town?