Authorities Identify Name of Valley City Woman’s Body Found in Sheyenne River


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CITY ( Authorities have identified the Valley City woman who drowned Friday in the Sheyenne River trying to rescue her dog as 38-year-old Jodi Kvien Opatz.  Opatz called dispatchers about 8:15am Friday to ask for help getting her dog out of the river near Little Dam in Valley City.

She told dispatchers she was going to attempt to save the dog, but dispatchers told her to wait for help and not go in the water.

Fire Chief Gary Retterath said members from the Valley City public works department working on lift station saw a dog and a woman in the river about 8:20 Friday morning.

Kvien Opatz’s body was recovered by Fire and Rescue members in some downed trees near the shoreline between the Little Dam and the 8th Avenue bridge on Friday about 8:40am.

Retterath says the dog pulled itself out of the river the first time and then drowned a short later in the under current of the Little Dam shortly after the woman’s body was recovered.

The body was taken to the state medical examiners office for an autopsy. Funeral arrangements for Kvien Opatz are pending with the Lerud Schuldt funeral home in Valley City.

Barnes County Valley City Fire & Rescue members search for Valley City woman in the Sheyenne River Valley City. Photos by Steve Urness.


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