The Ottumwa Courier

December 31, 2013

Eldon juveniles on thin ice

Courier staff writer

---- — ELDON — A report of burglary on Christmas Day at a home in Eldon led Wapello County Sheriff’s deputies on a search for stolen goods, and they found a good amount of them Monday afternoon in a quite peculiar place.

After the investigation led deputies to some of the stolen goods thanks to several search warrants, information was gathered that the remaining lost property had been dumped under the Cliffland Street Bridge, just to the southeast of Ottumwa.

“This was kind of a unique case,” Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller said.

When the deputies arrived on the scene at the bridge, they discovered the stolen property lying on top and encased inside of the frozen ice of the Des Moines River. Instead of risking the chance of falling into the freezing water, the deputies decided more appropriate equipment was required.

It was determined that help would be needed to remove the goods from the river because of the ice and weather conditions. The Ottumwa Fire Department was sought after to provide assistance, since they have the proper equipment.

“That was nice of them,” Miller said. “It was good to get something a little different for them.”

Firemen Derrick Fye and Jeff Box, along with several sheriff’s deputies, braved the ice and removed the stolen goods from the river. According to Miller, multiple rings, medals and other valuables were etched out of the ice.

Two juveniles, Jacob Duffy, 17, of Eldon, and Levi Rupe, 17, of Eldon, were charged with Third-Degree Burglary, which is a Class D Felony. Another minor, Dustin Howard, 16, of Eldon, was charged with Accessory After the Fact, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

All of the recovered goods, even what was taken out of the river, will be held as evidence and then returned to the owner in Eldon.

— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh