College gymnast, 21, found dead in restaurant’s dumbwaiter

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FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (AP) — Federal and state regulators have launched separate investigations into the death of a Winona State University gymnast who died while working at a restaurant in western Wisconsin.

The body of 21-year-old Brooke Baures was found in a food elevator at WingDam Saloon and Grill in Fountain City Monday night.

Buffalo County Sheriff Mike Schmidtknecht tells the Winona Daily News Baures may have pushed the elevator button to send the dumbwaiter from the second to the first floor of the restaurant and possibly reached for something inside.

Members of Brooke Baures’ family, friends, classmates and fellow gymnasts turned out for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night and shared stories and memories.

Teammate Jade Donaldson tells WKBT-TV that no matter where she was, Brooke was able to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Donaldson says she was loving, caring and helpful.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services are investigating the death. The Wisconsin agency is responsible for regulating and inspecting all elevators, including dumbwaiters. OSHA is responsible for investigating workplace injuries and deaths.

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