Marshall County

UPDATE-Marshall County Sheriff's Office Investigating Possible Human Remains Located in Iowa River

September 21, 2022

On August 10th, 2022 Marshall County Conservation staff directed Deputies to a remote area in the river where a possible human lower jawbone was discovered by conservation staff while conducting a biological and wildlife survey.  The jawbone was intact, but the condition was deteriorated indicating the jawbone was several years old.  A search of the area was conducted where three additional potential human bones were located.         

Marshall County Medical Examiner was contacted to collect the suspected human remains which were sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office for further testing.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office received information from the State Medical Examiner’s Office the mandible was confirmed as human with no modern medical significance.  The remaining bones were determined non-human.

The mandible was transferred to the Office of the State Archaeologist, University of Iowa for further examination.  The mandible was determined likely to belong to a prehistoric Native American, middle to older age male.  Additional historical research is expected. 

The Marshall County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office is led by Sheriff Joel Phillips and is committed to keeping communities and neighborhoods safe in Marshall County.           

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This webpage was printed on February 27, 2024. For the most current information, visit the Marshall County, Iowa, Sheriff website at
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