The body of George Musser was found Sunday evening after a daylong search.
Stillwater Police Chief Brian Mueller said the 20-year-old man's body was found near Osgood Avenue in Baytown Township.
Emily Dalbec, a representative of the family, said Stillwater police reported that Musser's body was found about 7 p.m. Sunday.
"I wouldn't want to speculate on where he was going or what his intentions were," Mueller said, but added that where he was found was not really on his way back home from the downtown restaurant where he was last seen. "It's a little bit out of the way."
Mueller said there was no indication of foul play, but said Musser's death still is under investigation.
Searchers in Stillwater spent much of Christmas Day looking for Musser. Volunteers bundled up to withstand single-digit temperatures, trying to make sense of where Musser — who wore only a flannel shirt for outerwear after leaving the bar early Saturday morning — may have sheltered while heading up the hill on a mile walk home.
Among those searching was Brenda Goaley, of Hudson, Wis., who is seven months pregnant but left her three sons and husband on Christmas to search for Musser after seeing a call for volunteers on social media.
"I just thought of my three little boys, like, 'What if that were to happen to them?' "
The search for Musser, that began a day earlier when family couldn't find him, had townsfolk turning over garbage lids, checking backyard sheds and scouring downtown parking lots for anything — footprints, an article of clothing — indicating his whereabouts. Some Stillwater residents put a check on their door to signal to searchers they'd investigated their premises already.
Musser was last seen after 2 a.m. Saturday at Brian's Bar & Grill, on Stillwater's main street. Dalbec said Musser's wallet was found near the Freight House, an adjacent restaurant, where his vehicle was parked. His keys were found near a dumpster.
Musser is a recent Stillwater high school graduate and has been attending the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, commuting from home. Christmas weekend, Dalbec said, was a chance to renew ties with friends back from college.
A public safety alert went out over phones just before 5 p.m. Sunday, noting that the 5-foot, 8-inch Musser was last seen in a black cap, gray flannel shirt, dark jeans and brown shoes.
Across the river in Houlton, Wis., Dalbec said she hadn't slept since the family was alerted to Musser's disappearance.
"We, as a family, started finding out Christmas Eve morning, and we were immediately concerned," Dalbec said as her parents — Musser's aunt and uncle — monitored social media posts. "It's not like him to not let people know where he is."
Stillwater is a close-knit river town. Calls over the holiday weekend went out for assistance from social media and the pulpit — including the local Catholic church the family attends.
Jerry Schlagel, council president at St. Paul Lutheran Church, said he'd come upon 25 people in the church parking lot Sunday, so he unlocked the doors to let searchers get warm.
"The Lord wanted me here this Christmas," Schlagel said.
In a Facebook post late Sunday, Dalbec said there would be a gathering to honor Musser in front of the Lift Bridge in Stillwater at 7 p.m. Monday.
Staff writers Rochelle Olson and Josie Albertson-Grove contributed to this article.