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Investigation underway after body found near Ruthven

By Staff | Aug 3, 2020

RUTHVEN – An investigation continues into the discovery of a body at a lake near Ruthven.

According to the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s office, shortly after 1:15 p.m., on July 22, deputies received a report from a passerby of a possible body in Virgin Lake, south of Ruthven. Upon arriving at the east boat ramp, a body was observed 25 feet from shore. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was called and the body was removed from the lake and transported to the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.

The body was identified as 27-year-old Rollin J Bontrager from Washington, Iowa. An autopsy was performed and a final report by the Medical Examiner’s Office will be released to law enforcement when final testing is complete.

On Friday, search warrants were executed at two residences in Emmetsburg and three vehicles were also searched. Numerous items were seized and will be analyzed.

Agencies assisting in this investigation are the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Palo Alto County Coroner, the Emmet County and Clay County sheriff’s offices, Emmetsburg and Spencer police departments, and the Iowa DCI Crime Scene Unit.

The investigation continues. Anyone that may have information concerning this incident is urged to contact the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office at 712-852-3535.