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Police Identify Human Remains Found Near Homeless Camp

DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Police identified the body found in a heavily wooded area earlier this month. The victim in the case is 23-year old Marshal Aaron Terrell Johnson. He was identified through an extensive forensic examination. The investigation into Johnson's death in ongoing.

Previous Story : 10/9/2019 - Des Moines police are investigating a homicide after a body was discovered in a heavily wooded area near SW 16th and MLK, south of the old DICO plant.

Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department says officers received a tip Tuesday about a possible death at a homeless camp near SW 16th and MLK. Around 5:00 p.m. detectives located a potential crime scene and eventually found human remains.

Because it was getting dark officers secured the area and waited until daylight Wednesday to continue the investigation. One body was found and the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office was called in.

The area marked in yellow is where Des Moines Police are investigating after a body was discovered Wednesday. (WHO-HD)

A forensic excavation of the site is being done.

Sgt. Parizek says the body was cleverly concealed and had been there for a considerable amount of time, probably months. He also says this is one of the most complicated scenes he has ever seen because of the wide area of the potential crime scene and also the landscape investigators are having to deal with.

Forensic anthropologists are assisting the Des Moines Police Department and the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office in the investigation.

The gender, age, and cause of death of the victim have yet to be determined. Parizek says the circumstances at the scene, which he could not elaborate on, lead investigators to believe this is a criminal case.

This is a developing story, we will bring you more information as it is released.

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