Human Remains Found in Council Bluffs
Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Council Bluffs, IA - Area law officials are investigating human remains found just south of the I-480 bridge in Council Bluffs. Law enforcement found the remains around 9 a.m. Friday morning in a drainage ditch.
The Omaha missing persons unit initiated a search in Council Bluffs Friday morning. Police were looking for evidence that would help find Chance Fletcher, a man who was last seen running from police in the winter of 2011. During their search, police found bones that may belong to Fletcher.
December 15, 2011, Fletcher disappeared after crashing a car and running from police. Pursuing officers never found him.
After the bones were discovered, the Iowa DCI was called in to assist police. Special agent Mitch Mortvedt with Iowa DCI said the body could have been decomposing for months. "It's mainly bones, from the scene location and the condition the remains were found in, it's obvious they've been here for awhile."
According to those working the scene, the remains were so decomposed, there was nothing but bones and clothing and no way to positively identify the body.
Mortvedt said it's possible the bones sat for nearly two years unnoticed. It's a heavily wooded, hardly traveled area and the condition of the remains suggest they've laid untouched for more than a few months. "From the state of the remains, they've been here for awhile, so if it were long enough ago, [cause of death] could have been a hypothermia issue," said Mortvedt.
Police haven't confirmed the remains belong to Fletcher. If they do, his death could be considered a police custody death even though Fletcher was never in custody because police were pursuing him when he went missing.
The remains were taken to the state medical examiner office in Ankeny, IA, to determine if any foul play was involved and to identify the body.