Wisconsin State University student Brooke Baures found dead in dumbwaiter food elevator

Baures was an accomplished gymnast, and competed for her university

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The Independent US

Police in a small town in Wisconsin have launched an investigation after a 21-year-old university student was found dead in a restaurant food elevator, at the bar and grill where she worked.

Brooke Baures, 21, a talented gymnast and a social work student at Winona State University, Minnesota, died on Monday.

At around 8pm, police responded to a call from WingDam Bar and Saloon and Grill in Fountain City, where they found Baures’ body in a dumbwaiter measuring 3 feet by 3 feet, which is connected to the kitchen.

Police officers have not found any indication that her death was caused by foul play.

The authorities are currently investigating why and how the student was in the dumbwaiter at WingDam Bar and Saloon, said Fountain City Police Chief Jason Mork.

Watch Ms Baures performing a gymnastic routine below

Accidents with food elevators are rare, according to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, with only two accidents, both fatal, taking place in the US between 2003 and 2013.

Baures’ team, Winona State Warriors, has led tributes to the 21-year-old who competed for her university since her freshman year.

“She was a leader on the team and a talented gymnast,” said Winona State athletic director Eric Schoh. “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.”

Tributes have also poured in from her friends over Twitter.

A candlelight vigil will be held in Baures’ honour at 8pm local time tonight, at the Gazebo in the centre of the Winona State campus.

"The friends, teammates, family, faculty are welcomed to join together in remembering Brooke and her impact on all of us," a Facebook event for the vigil reads.

Attendees are invited to light a candle for Baures.

It adds: "This is a loss of someone wonderful, but it's also a time for us to come together and remember the good times. Celebrate a wonderful life she lived. Please don't miss out. She deserves hundreds, a thousand people here."

Additional reporting by AP