The State of Iowa has six unidentified bodies on file. These cases have been entered into the National Crime Information Center Computer System for possible matches against the missing person file. However, if the individual has never been entered as missing by any agency there will be no match. These cases are presented on the website to reach a wider audience who may have knowledge about the identity of one of these individuals.

Caution: Every effort has been made to present this information in a way that is not offensive to the viewer. Given the nature of the information, it may be uncomfortable for some. There are no photographs of live individuals or remains. However, there are images of clay reconstructions of persons whose remains are unidentified. Additionally, there are images of tattoos and personal effects found with the remains. These images are presented to enhance the likelihood of identifying any one of these individuals.

Unidentified Bodies Map
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1. Clinton County - April 11, 1975

Description:  Black female, 12 to 23 years of age, five feet two inches to five feet four inches, 100 to 120 lbs., average build, black hair

Details:  Body found April 11,1975, in river in Clinton County. Victim was approximately 10 weeks pregnant.

Clothing:  None

Jewelry:  None

Cause of Death:  Gunshot wound. Death occurred sometime in early 1975.

Agency:  Clinton County Sheriff's Office 563.242.9211.

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2. Des Moines, Iowa - February 28, 1984

Description:  White male, 28 to 48 years of age, five feet seven inches to five feet nine inches, approximately 150 lbs., brown hair , medium build, right handed, surgical pin implanted in right knee

Details:  Skeletal remains found February 28, 1984, in brushy area along a dirt trail in Des Moines, Iowa.

Clothing:  Faded blue denims with thirty-one-inch waist, dark leather belt, brown socks, low cut TRAX sneakers brown/blue in color.

Possessions:  Plastic comb, plastic Copenhagen snuff box, and a pocketknife.

Cause of Death:  Blunt trauma, sometime during the summer of 1983.

Agency:  Des Moines Police Department 515.283.4800

Full Body Tattoos Image

Right Arm Side Profile
Right Front Profile
Right Rear Profile

Dad and Mother w/Bird

Flying bird carrying streamer in its beak. Written inside streamer is "MOTHER". The word "DAD" is above bird. The bird is in red-orange ink. Back of streamer is in green ink. Located right upper-arm near shoulder-tip. Dimensions: Approximately three inches from "DAD" to bottom of streamer. Approximately two and one-half inches from beak to tail.

Nazi Storm Trooper

Nazi storm-trooper. Wearing German Helmet, iron cross, SS on collar tabs. Face under helmet is skull-like. Has appearance of wearing leather coat. Dark-colored ink. Located on side and extending to rear of right upper arm. Dimensions: approximately six inches tall by three inches wide. Runs parallel to tattoos three and four.

Born To Die

Laughing skull with top-hat and cigarette. The words "BORN TO DIE" encircling design. Red ink inside eyes. Green ink inside nose. Located on right arm/inside bicep. Approximately one-half inch above tattoo number four. Total size approximately one and three-quarter inches wide at brim of hat by two inches long.

Woman Wearing Sombrero

Female face with dark hair under a sombrero. Fancy design on brim of sombrero. It's believed that the sombrero was put on after the female's features were tattooed. An additional tattoo of "JOHN" is visible under the design inside the sombrero brim. From top of hat to chin of female face is approximately two and one-half inches. The brim of the sombrero is approximately two and one-quarter inches wide. Located inner-arm approximately three and one-half inches. Located inner-arm approximately three and one-half inches from elbow joint. (right side) Approximately one-half inch below the skull in top-hat design.

Woman Profile

Description: Female facial profile/left side. Located on right side of chest above nipple. Tattooed so that female's hair appears light-colored. NOTE: A distinctive feature is that female has a "gear" with a wrench through it for an earring. Dimensions: Tattoo would take up most of subject's right breast-area.

Snake Coiled Around Tree

Description: Appears to be a spotted snake coiled around a tree. Dark ink. Located in middle of chest, along the sternum, from the xiphoid process to the angle. Majority of this tattoo is indistinguishable due to skin deterioration.

Cartoon Feet

Description: Dark-colored ink. No combination for colors. Believed that skin-section from abdominal area/right side between navel and chest. Approximate dimensions: (male cartoon figure minus head due to skin deterioration.) toe to toe - three inches; sole to upper-chest - three and three-quarter inches


Dark-colored ink. No identifiable color combinations. Butterfly pattern. Located on rear of right-side shoulder towards collarbone area. Dimension: approximately one and one-half inches long. NOTE: No pattern distinguishable on rearward wing (possible due to skin deterioration)

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3. Sioux City, Iowa - March 25, 1986

Description:  White male, 45 to 49 years of age, five feet six inches to five feet eight inches, 145 to 155 lbs., medium build, blood type A+

Details:  Burned body was found under a bridge of an abandoned river channel in Sioux City on March 25, 1986.

Clothing:  Subject was wearing white cotton gloves, brown western shirt, blue jeans, blue cotton socks, and tan western boots.

Possessions:  Tube of contact cement.

Cause of Death:  Apparent suicide; burned body was found doused with gasoline. Estimated time of death was the late afternoon of  March 24, 1986.

Agency:  Sioux City Police Department 712.279.6365

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4. Winneshiek County - March 31, 1986

Description:  White male, 33 to 36 years of age, five feet six inches to five feet nine inches, 145 - 160 lbs., brown hair, medium build

Details:  Skeletal remains found March 31, 1986, between hay bales at a farm site in Winneshiek County, Iowa

Clothing:  Plaid white-tan-black pile-lined jacket, medium white-tan short sleeve terry cloth shirt, blue cords with thirty three inch waist, black socks, extra-large blue windbreaker, and brown shoes

Possessions:  A one dollar bill, pink blanket, and a match book

Cause of Death:  Unknown. Estimated date of death: April 1985

Agency:  Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office 563.382.4268

Unidentified Reconstruction 1
Unidentified Reconstruction 2

The individual may have been traveling from Ohio to California. Skull reconstruction pictures indicate what the individual may have looked like. The pictures show the clothing the individual was wearing.

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5. Woodbury County - August 30, 1988

Description:  White male, 33 to 53 years of age, approximately five feet six inches tall

Details:  Skeletonized remains found August 30, 1988, in a roadside ditch one half mile east of Correctionville in Woodbury County.

Clothing:  One short sleeved plain colored shirt with button down collar. No markings were found on this item. This shirt was made of a lightweight fabric. One short sleeved white or pale-yellow shirt of a broadcloth type fabric. One red, white, and black plaid long sleeved shirt (pictured below). The characters "SL51" were stenciled in the center of the neck band. This shirt also had a button-down collar. Three pairs of socks-one black pair, one brown pair, and the remains of one pair of unknown color. The remains of one pair of shoes. The soles of the shoes had the characters "7' DE" and "675" molded on the surface. One pair of light weight black dress type gloves. One baseball type cap which was black in color. One blue double insulated baseball cap.

Possessions:  Black plastic wallet with imprint design and plastic metal clasp coin purse. Shaving materials consisting of two razors, styptic pencil, and shaving brush contained in a gym bag (see picture below).

Cause of Death:  Unknown. Estimated date of death: 1971-1973.

Agency:  Woodbury County Sheriff's Office 712.279.6010

Items Found With Body:

Plaid Shirt
Shaving Materials
Gym Bag
Tobacco Can

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6. Des Moines, Iowa - October 25, 2005

Description:  White male, 40 to 45 years of age, five feet eight inches to five feet ten inches, 195 to 210 lbs., Brown hair, goatee.

Details:  Body was found submerged in the Des Moines River, West Bank, in Des Moines on October 25, 2005. No apparent injuries or trauma.

Clothing:  Subject was wearing size 36 tan shorts under size 38 blue trousers, no shirt, and a yellow and white Relic brand watch.

Possessions:  Less than $10 in cash and coins.

Cause of Death:  Drowning.

Agency:  Des Moines Police Department  515.283.4805

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