09/06/2011 06:38 pm ET Updated Nov 06, 2011

Body of newborn baby found in Mississippi River

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Authorities are investigating the death of a newborn girl found floating in the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota, the Winona County Sheriff's Department said on Tuesday.

The baby, who weighed 6-1/2 pounds to 7 pounds, was found Monday afternoon in a bag floating about six miles downstream from Winona in the main channel of the river on the Minnesota side, Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude said.

The girl's body was taken to the Dakota County Medical Examiner's office. An autopsy was planned for Tuesday.

Ganrude said sheriff's dispatchers received an emergency call and notified the department's water patrol, which picked up an investigator and went to the area where the body was found on Monday.

No babies had been reported missing to the sheriff's department before the girl was found.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Winona County Attorney's office are assisting in the investigation.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Greg McCune and Jerry Norton)