Abandoned, Alone, but Safe: 3 Children Recovered in Des Moines After Mother’s Death in Missouri

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Three young children were reported missing after their mother, 29-year-old Jessica McCormack, was found dead of suspicious circumstances in Missouri on July 29. Des Moines police say that the woman’s 4-year-old, 20-month-old and 7-month-old were found at the Deer Ridge apartment complex in Des Moines.

“There was a lady who contacted us and said that she had three children who had been dropped off by their father a few days ago. She really wasn't understanding what was going on but he hadn't returned yet,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Police say the man left some sort of note telling that whoever found the children had guardianship of them now.

“Once we got DHS involved so we could work to finding some proper care and placement for the kids, some place where they can be safe and comfortable, that's when we started working with the Missouri authorities to figure out what we need to do to help find this man because he is a person of interest in his wife's death,” said Parizek.

Police say they have some information on the man but are waiting to release it until a Missouri judge signs off on an arrest warrant. Meanwhile, the McDonald County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of the children's mother.

“No determination through the autopsy on what the cause of death is at this time. We're still waiting on toxicology and some other testing to come back. It could take a while there,” said Sheriff Michael Hall.

Des Moines police say the man appeared to have no connection to the apartment complex or anyone who lives there. They say at the moment, the children are their biggest concern.

“Regardless of what the circumstances are, they don’t have either one of their parents, so it's a very frightening experience for them. We want to do everything that we can to make them as comfortable as they can possibly feel and as safe as they can possibly feel while we work through this,” said Parizek.

Police say they have no reason to believe the man who abandoned the children is still in the city. They are now working to find out where their closest family members live.


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