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Police: Body of Missing Man Last Seen in November Found in River

Body discovered in Des Moines River on Jan. 24, 2018. (Drone13)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Police have released the name of the man found in the Des Moines River Wednesday in downtown Des Moines.

Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department says the body is that of 20-year-old Phillip Philavanh who hasn’t been seen since early November following an alleged assault involving his mother.

Police say Philavanh and his mother were arguing inside a car when he stabbed her in the hand on November 5, 2017. The mother drove to Mercy Hospital, with her son inside the car, and police say once they arrived at the hospital Philavanh jumped out and tried to carjack another vehicle. The person in the vehicle tried to take the knife and Philavanh ran off.

Warrants were issued for his arrest following the incident for 1st degree robbery, willful injury, and domestic abuse assault causing injury.

His family filed a missing person report with the Des Moines Police Department on December 12, 2017.

Police say Philavanh’s body was discovered around 4:47 p.m. Wednesday by a construction crew working on the Grand Avenue bridge. Des Moines Police and the Des Moines Fire Department responded to the location just south of the bridge, where the body was located in the water. The Des Moines Fire Department assisted with removing the body, from the water.

An autopsy will be performed by the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine Philavanh’s cause of death.