SELMA — The remains of an Ottumwa woman reported missing was located by a person walking near the Des Moines River Sunday afternoon.

The Ottumwa Police Department was notified by family members on Saturday that 60-year-old Helen Elizabeth Showalter, 60, of Ottumwa, was missing.

At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, a person walking in the area near the Cliffland Boat Ramp in rural Wapello County, near the Des Moines River, located a body. Police said the remains were Showalter's.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday at the Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office in Ankeny. The death is being investigated as suspicious, but no arrests have been made as of Sunday evening.

Police said they don't feel there is any danger to the public, based on the information investigators have now.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation is asked to contact the Ottumwa Police Department at 641-683-0661.

When police reported that Showalter was missing Saturday evening, they said she had been last seen near the Garrison Rock Park after she took off walking from a vehicle. She had pre-existing medical conditions and did not have her medication with her.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Wapello County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the investigation.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.


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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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