Officials Ask for Community’s Help Finding Deceased Homeless Man’s Family

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Officials are still looking for family or friends of a homeless man found injured along a Des Moines bike trail earlier this month.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said he was biking along the Neal Smith Trail when he saw the man badly hurt next to the trail near the University Avenue bridge about two weeks ago.

“He had some pretty serious injuries at that time and unfortunately once they got him to the hospital he did die,” Parizek said.

The Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office was able to identify the man through forensic testing as Linh Quoc Mai.

"We do know that he came to the United States many years ago as refugee and that it's believed that his parents stayed over there, but we still think that there might be other family somewhere around here who might be able to give us a hand and give the family some closure if they've been wondering where he's at all these years," Parizek said.

Officials believe the man was homeless and have been searching for family or loved ones since they learned his identity.

“We’re hoping that maybe somebody in the community might know him well or might have worked with him sometime. He also spent some time in Sioux City, Iowa, within the last few years, so he may have a connection up there. But all the official channels that we’ve run through, we are just running out of leads,” Parizek said.

Homeless support organization Joppa said to their knowledge the man hasn’t received service from any shelters or outreach groups, but no matter what, they make sure to honor those who died homeless.

“The Iowa Homeless Memorial is statewide and so we do what we can to collect the names from all the service providers in the state. We want every person who has died homeless or recently off the streets, we want them to be remembered at that memorial,” Joppa Marketing Manager and Event Director Tamara Pool said.

If you have any information about his family or know someone who does, you can call the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office at 515-286-2102.

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