On Monday, November 27, 2023 at approximately 9:13 PM, a motor vehicle crash was reported at or near the intersection of Independence Avenue and 231st Street (G-28) in Muscatine County.
Upon law enforcement arrival, a red 2005 GMC Sierra was located on its roof, in a ditch, north of the aforementioned intersection. The vehicle was unoccupied.
With a short time lapse between the time of call and arrival time of the deputies, it was believed that the occupant(s) may still be in the area. Deputies searched the area using canines and drones equipped with thermal imagining but were ultimately unsuccessful in locating the occupant(s). Deputies attempted to “ping” the cellphone of the vehicle’s registered owner but the phone was subsequently located in the truck. It should be noted that temperatures dropped into the single digits overnight.
On 11-28-23 at or about 9:36 AM, a missing persons report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office listing Samuel Anthony Kessel (22 years old of Letts, IA) as last seen by his parents in the hour prior to the crash. It was believed that Mr. Kessel was the driver and sole occupant of the truck.
Throughout the day, deputies and numerous volunteers searched the area in hopes of finding Mr. Kessel. An airplane operated by the Iowa State Patrol was also utilized to aid in the search.
At or about 5:10 PM, deputies were summoned to an area approximately an eighth mile north of 231st Street and half mile east of Independence Avenue. Volunteers working in that area located the body of a deceased male in a deep creek bed that ran through a wooded area. The decedent was subsequently identified as Samuel Kessel.
The investigation is ongoing and those with information are asked to contact Sgt. Jake McCleary of the Criminal Investigation Division at the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office (563-264-0188 ext.4105)