NEAR CENTERVILLE — Local law enforcement found two bodies on a rail car from Mexico in rural Appanoose County Friday, they said in a press release Monday morning.

The Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office was notified by Iowa Southern Railway at approximately 4:37 p.m. on Friday of a possible deceased individual in a rail car. Deputies with the sheriff’s office responded and ultimately discovered two human bodies deceased in an open rail car.

The rail car contained approximately 100 tons of steel that were being shipped from Monterrey, Mexico to Centerville. Authorities believe both individuals were killed by the shifting of the steel load during the travel.

The two bodies have been transported to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office to attempt to identify the gender, race and nationality of the individuals killed. Authorities believe at least one of the individuals may be from Honduras but the nationality has not been confirmed.

Workers discovered the bodies when they began to decouple the cars from the engine.

Several rail cars, including the one containing the deceased individuals, were dropped off in Albia on Thursday by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Iowa Southern Railway picked up the cars on Friday and transported them to their destination in Appanoose County the same day.

The bodies were discovered near the rail crossing at 540th Street, east of 240th Avenue.

Assisting the Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office was the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and Appanoose County Medical Examiner.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian and can be reached at or by calling (641) 856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker


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