A fisherman on the Des Moines River Sunday may have found crucial evidence tied to a local shooting, and agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are hoping to persuade the man to turn in the gun he found.
DCI Special Agent Larry Hedlund said a reward is being offered for the gun's recovery.
"We're looking for a firearm that was found at the Hydroelectric Dam in the Loomis Park area," Hedlund said. "It was found, according to our source, on the upstream side, washed up against the dam, and we're attempting to locate this person."
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is looking for a fisherman who found a gun Sunday along the east side of the Des Moines River by the Fort Dodge Hydroelectric Dam. The firearm is a potential piece of evidence in one or more active homicide cases and needs to be examined by DCI forensic experts. Anyone with information should contact the DCI, Fort Dodge Police or Crime Stoppers.
The man, who was fishing sometime around or before noon Sunday, is reported to be white, of average height, and bald or balding.
"We would like to identify the gun, and we're willing to offer a reward for the recovery of the firearm," Hedlund said.
The fisherman, or anyone who could help identify the man, is asked to call Hedlund, 571-0880; the Fort Dodge Police Department, 573-1426; or Crime Stoppers, where anonymous tips can be left by calling 573-1444, or through text messaging by texting "LEC" and the tip to CRIMES (274637).
Anyone with information about the gun being sought by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation may call DCI Special Agent Larry Hedlund, 571-0880; the Fort Dodge Police Department, 573-1426; or Crime Stoppers, where anonymous tips can be left by calling 573-1444, or through text messaging by texting "LEC" and the tip to CRIMES (274637).
The gun could be significant, he said, because law enforcement officials have previously been told that a gun used in one of the DCI's active cases was thrown into the Des Moines River, he said.
"We are interested in this critical piece of information and potential evidence to see if it's tied in to any case we're actively working on, which would include the McCuddin and Preston cases," Hedlund said.
Lisa McCuddin was fatally shot while riding in the passenger side of a car early on the morning of Oct. 2, 2004. Brandyn Preston was shot in the back of the neck while at a party at 1101 10th Ave. S.W. on May 8 of this year. Preston is alive, but he is paralyzed from the neck down.
Aside from the gun being sought, a piece of a firearm was recovered from the river on Sunday, and it is being sent to the DCI crime lab today for forensic examination, Hedlund said.
"We don't know if it's connected to any of our cases," he said.
Hedlund said that because the water level at the Hydroelectric Dam is so low, a lot of people are coming down to the river bed and walking around in places that would normally be under water.
"We would ask that any citizens, if they find anything that looks suspicious or looks like it might be something of interest to the police - obviously including a firearm - call us right away. Leave it where it is; don't pick it up. It could be loaded. Have somebody on a cell phone call us, and we will come down and pick it up," he said.
Contact Barbara Wallace Hughes at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org