An Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman says investigators are still not ready to release the identity of body found Monday in Atlantic. Public Safety spokesman Jim Saunders says investigators aren’t at a point where they can make a "determination" of the person’s identity.
While investigators have not even released the gender of the body found, family members of 26-year-old Justin Eugene Hoeck told reporters yesterday the body is Hoeck, who was reported missing over the weekend. Saunders said the connection between the two cases is still being investigated.
"You know, obviously they’re exploring the connection there between the missing person report and this discovery, but until we have some medical confirmation, we just can’t release that," Saunders says. Hoeck’s fiancee reported his disappearance after the man left another residence in Atlantic sometime between three and four o’clock Saturday morning and failed to return home.
An Iowa D.O.T. employee inspecting a concrete culvert in Atlantic observed what he believed to be a body lying face down on the concrete floor of the culvert at around 11 a.m. Monday. When officers arrived they determined there were no signs of life and notified the Cass County Medical Examiner. Officials have not released a cause of death.