Body found in Iowa farm field confirmed as that of trucker who went missing in November


Associated Press

A body found in a northwest Iowa field has been identified as that of a missing truck driver, discovered not far from where his abandoned rig was found on an isolated highway just before Thanksgiving.

But details of his death remain a mystery.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Thursday the state medical examiner’s office had conducted a forensic autopsy, and authorities identified the body as that of David Schultz, 53, with dental records. The department said authorities do not suspect foul play in his death. Preliminary autopsy results showed no signs of trauma or serious injury, the agency said. Further results are pending.

The department said someone in his field discovered a body Wednesday, near where Schultz’s semi was found parked in the middle of the road on Nov. 21.

Schultz’s wife, Sarah, told reporters on Thursday that the person discovered was wearing boots that matched her husband’s, and his keys were found in the pants pocket.

The discovery, she said, brought a mixture of relief and sorrow.

“I’m glad we know where he is now,” Sarah Schultz said. “There’s still a lot of questions. Things don’t make sense.”

Schultz, of Wall Lake, Iowa, left home late on the night of Nov. 20 to pick up a load of pigs from a hog confinement near Eagle Grove, Iowa. He was expected to deliver the pigs the next morning to a livestock dealer in Sac City, Iowa, a small farming town about 90 miles (145 km) northwest of Des Moines. When he didn’t show up, no one could get him on the phone.

Sarah Schultz reported him missing, and the truck was found later that afternoon, less than 10 miles (6.2 km) northeast of his destination. The pigs were still in the trailer. Schultz’s wallet and phone were inside his rig. His jacket was on the roadside.

Jake Rowley, the regional team leader of United Cajun Navy, a nonprofit search-and-rescue organization that helped with the search, said local law enforcement agencies searched the area where the body was found immediately after Schultz went missing, including with drones. More than 250 volunteers searched an additional 100,000 acres.

An unanswered question, Rowley said, was whether the the body “was there the entire time,” or if it was recently moved to the spot where it was found.

Sarah Schultz described her husband as a devoted family man who stressed to his kids the importance of being respectful and working hard.

“He was such a good father,” Sarah Schultz said. “It’s not fair.”