Body of missing Ottumwa woman found in rural Wapello County


WAPELLO COUNTY, Iowa — An Ottumwa woman who was reported missing earlier this weekend has been found dead in rural Wapello County.

The Ottumwa Police Department said a passerby found the body of 60-year-old Helen Showalter in the Des Moines River near the Cliffland Boat Ramp Sunday afternoon.

Showalter was last seen walking away from a vehicle near the Garrison Rock Park in rural Wapello County, according to police. Her family notified police of her disappearance on Saturday, July 31.

Police are investigating Showalter’s death as suspicious. So far, no arrests have been made.

“At this time we do not feel that there is any danger to the public with the information that we have,” said Lt. Jason Bell with the Ottumwa Police Department.

An autopsy will be conducted on Monday at the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny to determine Showalter’s cause of death.

The Wapello County Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are helping with the investigation.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Ottumwa Police Department at 641-683-0661.

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