Des Moines Police are still trying to identify a body pulled from the Des Moines River Sunday. The body, spotted by a boater around 12:40 p.m. on the city’s far southeast side, was caught in some debris in the water.
Des Moines Police Sergeant Jason Halifax says the victim is an adult male. “There was no identification on him, no ID cards, no papers with his name, or anything like that,” Halifax said. “As of (Monday) morning, we have not yet got an ID on him.” In a press release on Sunday, police described the man as being white. On Monday afternoon, another release was issued stating the “conditions of the river and living organism caused alterations to that appearance and his correct race has been determined to be black.”
An autopsy is being conducted to help determine the exact cause of death. “When they did pull him from the river, there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body,” Halifax said. “We did not witness any gunshot wounds or stabs or major trauma that would’ve happened before he went into the water.”
The autopsy will also help determine how long the body had been in the river. “Based on the condition of the body, investigators on the scene believe it had probably been a fair amount of time,” Halifax said. Investigators are checking with other agencies in the area to see if they have a missing persons report that might match the victim.