Des Moines Police thought they were responding to an assault early Thursday morning, but when they got to the scene, they quickly realized the situation was much more serious.
Officers found a man dead at a trailer storage yard at 1631 East Aurora Avenue, leaving local business owners surprised.
“That kind of stuff doesn`t happen around here very much, but it`s still an industrial area, I consider it kind of a dangerous area at night, the day time it`s not really that bad here, I thought that was a little shocking,” says American Scrap owner, Rick Colbert.
Colbert said he heard about a homicide up the road Thursday morning.
The area where the man was found is tucked back behind the business and was hard for police to find.
“A call came in from a female indicating she wanted to meet with officers to speak with them about an assault that happened to an acquaintance of hers,” says Sgt. Jason Halifax with the Des Moines Police Department.
Sgt. Halifax says the caller couldn’t tell police where she was, and because she was calling from a 911 only phone they couldn’t trace the call.
“The best guess we can do at that point is see what towers the phone is hitting off of and send officers up into that area, to see if they can come in contact with someone who might need our assistance,” says Sgt. Halifax.
An hour later, the caller met police at a convenience store and led them back to the scene where they found a man dead from a gunshot wound.
Colbert says at night, the area does tend to become more populated.
“Night time comes and more people around and there are a lot of trailers, industrial stuff around here more for people to get into,” says Colbert.
Police found the man between some trailers at the yard. Now, they’re trying to process the area to find clues as to who killed him.
“You have to start big and move in on the crime scene so since it`s such a big open area our investigators would have to start broadly and move in to process so that will take time to do that,” says Sgt. Halifax.
Colbert says the police do a good job patrolling the area, but he and his colleagues will be stepping-up their own security.
“It`s always shocking, you don`t want that, we take precautions, we`ll take more precautions,” says Colbert.
Police say they are not releasing the victim’s name until they can notify family members.
They will say he also owned a trailer that was stored at this yard, so they will be processing that as well.
Police says they questioned the woman who called police, but say she is not a suspect.