Marshall County

Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Possible Human Remains Located in Iowa River

August 11, 2022 at 11:15 am


At approximately 4:00 PM on August 10th, 2022 Marshall County Conservation staff directed Deputies to a remote area in the river where a possible human lower jawbone was discovered by conservation staff while conducting a biological and wildlife survey.  The jawbone was intact, but the condition was deteriorated indicating the jawbone was several years old.  A search of the area was conducted where three additional potential human bones were located.          

Marshall County Medical Examiner was contacted to collect the suspected human remains to be sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office for further testing to confirm if the remains are human.  If confirmed human, additional forensic testing for DNA will be completed to identify sex, age, and other attributes of the person it belonged to continue the investigation.

With the lack of rainfall over the last several weeks this has created low water levels in the Iowa River uncovering many river characteristics that are continually changing and normally under water.   If anyone participating in water activities on the Iowa River locates potential human remains, please contact the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office at 641-754-6380 or the Marshall County Communications Center non-emergency number at 641-754-5725.    

Marshall County Sheriff’s Office assures the public there is no threat to their safety as the investigation continues.    

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Marshall County Conservation and Marshall County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Marshall County, Iowa Sheriff's Office is led by Sheriff Joel Phillips and is committed to keeping communities and neighborhoods safe in Marshall County.

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This webpage was printed on April 23, 2024. For the most current information, visit the Marshall County, Iowa, Sheriff website at
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