Body Found In Des Moines River Identified?

Jon Mark

The Associated Press is reporting that a person walking on a Southeast 14th Street bridge spotted a body in the Des Moines River.

The article says that police and firefighters went to the river this afternoon where the body was found among debris in the water. It was reportedly the body of a man.


The article refers to another one by The Des Moines Register, which says that the authorities responded at 1:30 p.m., and that the body was taken to the Polk County Medical Examiner's office.

Iowa Online has a list of names of people in Des Moines who have recently gone missing, and the reports say that the body is that of an adult.

The site shows a Craig A. Lynn, 51, who had gone missing on May 21; a Nghia V. Nguyen, 42, also from the Des Moines agency and on the same date; a Demarco M. Strode, 41, also reporting missing with the same agency and date; and a Leonard E. Dawson, 60, who last made contact on May 15.

Thus far, a posting was found on Facebook for Leonard who still hasn't been found.

Since the Facebook owner placed this around the time of the reported discovery, it isn't clear whether "the lead" they're referring to is of the news from the Des Moines River sighting.

Within the last hour, the same Kristine Dawson posted the following, perhaps indicating that the body was identified, but still not confirmed.

"RIP Pop. We will miss you and your goofy laugh and the way you teased us, made us laugh, the way you adored Jr, the way your eyes lit up when you got to see Gabriel for the first time, the way you loved Liv as if she were your blood. I will never forget you. I promise to take care of your Dawson boys."

All other missing persons listed are juveniles or female.

Thus far, there are no accounts under the other names on social media who are reported as missing in Des Moines.

It would seem to be the case that the authorities have not given the race of the body they found to prevent the press or anyone else from narrowing down the possibilities to identify the body.

There is also no indication as to the condition of the body, which could also provide more insight, but that they were able to quickly identify that the body was male and that of an adult would provide clues of the body's condition and how long it might have been since time of death.

Of the six bodies on the list, the last one in the Des Moines area was found in the river on October 25, 2005.

Officer Paul Perizek of the Des Moines police department spoke to The Register who filed the report.

Officer Perizek said that the priorities will be determining who he is, the cause of death, and then obviously moving forward from there if this is an accident, criminal nature, or criminal act if that is the case. he continued by saying that the detectives are there but right now all of that is undetermined, they'll figure that out as they move forward.

The Facebook users who updated their profile likely were the first contacted before the information was publicly released, if this is the missing person who has been found.

As of this writing, The Des Moines Register will provide more updates as they get them from the investigators.

[Image by Eva Vincent via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 ]