Iowa State University police are waiting for autopsy results before saying if a body found last night is that of a missing student. I.S.U. Police Chief Jerry Stewart says an officer from his department found the body while searching the school’s old dairy farm site approximately one mile south of central campus.
Stewart says the officer’s search was part of the ongoing effort to find 21-year-old Jonathan Lacina of Grinnell, who has been missing since leaving a party on January 22nd. Stewart says they’ve been diligently searching fields, remote areas, ditches and other areas on a daily basis and that’s what the officer was doing.
Stewart is not saying if there are indications the body is Lacina’s. “It would be premature to comment on identification until the state medical examiner’s office has had an opportunity to compete its work,” Stewart says. The autopsy is expected to be completed today. Stewart also said he could not comment on the circumstances surrounding the body when it was found. Hundreds of volunteers and law officers have conducted searches for Lacina since he was reported missing.
Stewart says all I.S.U. farm and property managers and residents of rural areas were asked on several occasions to check fields and their structures. “This farm was not in the primary search area, it was checked by air and ground teams early, however, conditions were such that personnel were waist deep in snow at that time,” Stewart says.
Stewart had said earlier that electronic records, such as cellphone use and bank accounts, were checked and there was no apparent activity on Lacina’s accounts since he was last seen in January.