BOONE, Iowa — Next month will mark two years since a Jewell man went missing. Then 23 – year – old Jesse Leopold was last seen leaving his work at a meat processing plant in Jewell before he vanished. A few days following his disappearance, his pickup truck was found at Ledges State Park with the keys still in the ignition. Since his son’s disappearance, Jerry Leopold’s quest to find Jesse has consumed him.
“It’s been 689 days,” he says. It’s the number of days since his Jesse was reported missing. Jerry believes he knows what happened.
” I think that he was murdered. Plain and simple. There was no suicide in the park because a body surely would`ve turned up by now.”
So far, the investigation and search efforts have not led to any concrete leads. Detectives with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office tell the Ames Tribune that too many rumors about the case have made finding what really happened, difficult. Jerry says investigators are being too dismissive with information that is being reported.
“I do believe that there have been several people that have come forward but because of the lifestyle choices or problems they may have had in the past that they are simply dismissed as not credible.”
It’s forced Jerry to take matters into his own hands. He launched the Facebook page “Finding Jesse Leopold” to help keep heat on the cold case. It has more than 9,000 followers.
“The more people that show an interest, the better my chances are of getting even more exposure and that will bring the pressure to be authorities to get this thing resolved.”
In the meantime, the family is selling t- shirts and wrist bands to help raise money to hire a private investigator hoping it brings them answers.
“There`s nothing else more important to me. Nothing, until I find what they did with them.”
A “Justice for Jesse” rally will take place on Saturday at the Pufferbilly Days festival in downtown Boone. It’s scheduled for 8am.