College Gymnast Found Dead in a Dumbwaiter

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A gymnast, college student was found dead in a dumbwaiter at the bar and grill where is worked.

Authorities confirmed the identity of the victim on Tuesday in a small western Wisconsin town.


The victim, Brooke Baures, 21 years old from Chetek, Wisconsin. Her body was found dead at around

8pm on Monday evening at the food-service elevator during her work shift.


Police Chief Jason Mork said that Baures’ shift started at 4 p.m. The employees of the restaurant were

using 3-foot-by-3-foot food-service elevator to serve food to a large party on the second floor of the

restaurant. Mork added, the mechanism was properly functioning that night.


The employees called 911 when they discovered Baures’ body trapped in the dumbwaiter. The

emergency crews took at least 20 minutes to extricate the dead body. Mork couldn’t figure out how she

got there as it was not easy to remove the body.


Police officer and crime scene investigators check the crime scene. There was no indication of foul play

on the death of the student. Authorities were investigating how the girl got into the food elevator of

WingDam Bar and Saloon.


An autopsy would be conducted to determine the cause of death and to determine which injuries were

sustained after she died. Her body sustained additional injuries after being removed from the elevator.

Though initial investigation revealed the death is likely an accident, investigation is continuing.


Baures is a senior majoring social work at Winona University. She was also a member of Winona State’s

gymnastics team from 2011 to 2014.


Serious accidents in the workplace involving food-service elevators or dumbwaiters are extremely rare.

In the last decade, only three deaths involving dumbwaiters according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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