Missing Paynesville Man Accused of Sex Crime Found Dead
GROVE CITY -- A Paynesville man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl has turned up dead.
An obituary for 50-year-old Steven Row says he died May 23rd near Grove City.
Stearns County had issued a warrant for his arrest and Paynesville Police issued a missing person case for Row who was last seen at his home on that date. At the time, police said Row had searched the internet about suicide before leaving his home and his subsequent disappearance.
Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze says they received a call from a landowner near Grove City on Monday, July 15th about Row's vehicle on or near his land. The sheriff says after finding Row's vehicle and a body nearby, they initiated a death investigation.
Sheriff Cruze says it appears Row committed suicide but a final cause of death is being determined by the medical examiner's office.
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office has recalled the arrest warrant and the County Attorney's Office has dismissed the charges. Paynesville Police Chief Paul Wegner says the missing person case is considered closed.
Row's wife, 55-year-old Stacy Row, is still facing a criminal sexual conduct charge in the case.