A star college gymnast was killed at the restaurant where she works in what appears to have been a bizarre accident. Police in Fountain City, Wisconsin, say 21-year-old Brooke Baures was found dead at the WingDam Bar and Saloon on the night of December 1.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Her Body Was Found ‘Trapped’ Inside a Dumbwaiter
WCCO reports that police in Fountain City were called to the WingDam Bar at 8 p.m. on December 1 when the body of Baures was found. She was found inside the shaft of the restaurant’s dumbwaiter, the elevator used to move food between floors. She was a waitress at the restaurant and was working at the time of the accident. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that cops have interviewed half of the customers and employees who were at the bar when Baures was found dead. Nobody saw her enter to the elevator.
The Winona Daily News reports that the door of the dumbwaiter was 3 feet by 3 feet and was not designed for people to enter.
Police Chief Jason Mork of the Fountain City police told Fox Twin Cities that “I highly doubt [Baures] was using [the elevator] to move herself.” He told the station she was likely using the elevator “to move food.” The Star-Tribune reports that the dumbwaiter was being used to shuttle drinks and food from the ground floor to a party happening on the second floor.
He added that she was found by EMTs “trapped” inside the dumbwaiter and had died by the time she was found.
2. She Was One of the Best Gymnasts in Wisconsin
Baures was a member of the Winona State University gymnastics team. Above is a video of her performing a floor exercise in 2012.
The team sent out this tweet upon hearing about her death:
The Winona Daily News reports that twice in 2014 she was named as the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference gymnast of the week. The Winona State University athletic director Eric Schoh told the newspaper:
She was a leader on the team and a talented gymnast. This is a tremendous loss for our community, and we ask that you keep Brooke and her family, friends, coaches and teammates in your thoughts.
In 2011, during her senior year of high school, she competed at the USA Gymnastics national meet in Long Beach, California. At the time she told Rick Lake Online that she was training for 15 hours a week.
3. Baures Was Studying to Be a Social Worker
According to her profile with the Winona University team, Baures was a senior studying to become a social worker. The profile adds that she’s from Cameron, Wisconsin, and that she went to school at Cameron High. The Winona Daily News reports that she’s a part of the class of 2015.
4. Her Last Facebook Post Showed Her With Country Music Superstars Dan + Shay
5. Tributes Have Been Flooding in for Baures on Social Media
Since news of her death was announced on December 1, tributes have been pouring in for Baures: