Authorities in southwest Iowa are trying to determine whether bone fragments found in a charred Mills County house are those of a Council Bluffs man. The Glenwood area home was destroyed by fire on New Year’s Eve, the same night a missing person report was filed on 26-year-old Travis Bach — by his mother.
Council Bluffs Police Sergeant Chad Meyers says they got a search warrant and combed the ruins of the house. “We went out and sifted through the ashes at the fire site and we recovered some small bones and bone fragments,” Meyers says. “They’ve been sent to the state lab for testing to see if they’re human remains or not.”
He says there’s evidence the missing man may have been at the residence. “We had reason to believe, based on a vehicle that was left at the scene, that Travis may have been in that house prior to it starting on fire,”Meyers says.
He says it’s too early to tell whether the state crime lab testing on the bone fragments will yield any results and he’s not highly optimistic. “I don’t know that we’ll ever be able to determine definitively that they are his,” he says. “Because they were in the fire, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to get DNA from them. What we’re looking for is just for them to confirm that they’re human or not.” Authorities believe Bach knew the owner of the house.
The Mills County Sheriff’s Office reported two weeks ago that the fire was still under investigation.
(Reporting by Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)