Des Moines police brought the water-rescue team along when they were called to investigate what looked human remains Tuesday afternoon along a river in the capital city. Police sergeant Tony Steverson says they were spotted just below the area where the Des Moines River and the Raccoon merge. A fisherman found what looked to him like some bones that had drifted down and run aground on a sandbar, and called police who retrieved the remains and confirmed they appeared to be part of a rib cage and some other bones. He says also near the bones they saw a garment that appeared to be a shirt. Police searched the area and gathered items that might help identify the remains to send in for laboratory analysis. The situation was complicated by the weather, which had frozen most of the river to ice until recent days, when a warm spell made it too soft to walk out to where the remains were spotted. It was a little bit of both kinds of navigating, he explains, and a small flat-bottom boat was used to get out past sandbars and a couple deep spots in the river, “a bit testy at times,” he says.
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