Eight-month-old Tabitha Markle has died.
Editor's note (Jan. 23 at 3 p.m.): Lake Minnetonka Patch and other media outlets originally reported Tabitha was nine months old. She was three days from turning nine months at the time of her death. Patch apologizes for any confusion.
Tabitha was strapped in her car seat when her family's vehicle broke through the ice on Lake Minnetonka Friday evening. She was submerged 15-20 minutes before first responders were able to free her.
She was first taken by ambulance to Waconia and later transported by helicopter to Children's Hospital.
A report released Tuesday afternoon by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office classified Tabitha's death as an accidental drowning. She died just after 2:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Tabitha's death is the first in Hennepin County this season attributed to thin ice.
The following was released late Tuesday afternoon by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office:
On Jan. 18, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Mound Fire Department responded to an incident in which a vehicle broke through the ice on Lake Minnetonka under the Halstead Bay Bridge in Minnetrista.
The Mound Fire Department rescued a family of four from Minnestrista from an SUV that was submerged in the water. Three family members were treated and released from the hospital. Today, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced that the youngest victim, eight-month-old Tabitha Rose Markle, has died.
The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this incident and will determine if alcohol was involved. The information gathered in the investigation will be provided to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office for consideration of possible charges.
There have been seven vehicles that have broken through thin ice on Lake Minnetonka in recent days.
Lake Minnetonka Patch will have additional updates to this story as they become available.
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