Grandmother says body found near Clare is likely Gomez

Webster County sheriff says he can’t confirm report

Jessica Gomez

The grandmother of a Fort Dodge woman who had been reported missing last week says the 26-year-old is likely dead.

Jacqui McCollum, of Fort Dodge, said a body was found Saturday that is probably Jessica Gomez.

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs said late Saturday night that he could not confirm that report.

He said the investigation into Gomez’s disappearance was continuing.

But McCollum said Saturday night that she had been told by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation that a body believed to be her granddaughter was found around 4:30 that afternoon.

Mackenzie Knigge

A formal identification is pending.

McCollum also posted on social media late Saturday night that the body had been found.

“We have been informed that a body was found this afternoon near Clare Iowa. They think it is probably her. We won’t know positively until autopsy is completed. Thank uou (sic) for your prayers and support.”

Gomez and her “best friend” MacKenzie Knigge, 26, of Clare, were reported missing last week.

Knigge was found safe in Lafayette, Indiana, on Thursday, the Iowa Department of Public Safety reported.

A 2006 Pontiac Montana that’s believed to be connected to the disappearance of Knigge and Gomez was also found in Lafayette, Indiana.

On Friday, authorities combed an area near Clare looking for Gomez.

Gomez, a white woman with blue eyes and 5 feet, 4 inches tall and about 195 pounds, was last seen on Aug. 4.

Her car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris, was found west of the intersection of Fairbanks Avenue and 150th Street in Webster County, according to the sheriff’s department.

The sheriff did not say when that car was found.

Law enforcement officers and firefighters searched a few square miles around Clare Friday. Stubbs said the area had been searched previously, but authorities were giving it a second look. The search began at about 3 p.m. and ended at about 7 p.m.

Stubbs had said Friday that there was a heightened concern for the woman’s safety.

McCollum has described Gomez and Knigge as “best friends.”