Two people found dead in rail car in Appanoose County

Local News

APPANOOSE COUNTY – Two people were found dead in a rail car in rural Appanoose County on Friday afternoon.

The Sheriff’s office got a 911 call from Iowa Southern Railway. When law enforcement arrived, they found two bodies inside an open rail car.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was requested to assist with the investigation along with the Appanoose County Medical Examiner’s Office. Preliminary investigation indicates that the open rail car contained approximately 100 ton of steel that was being shipped from Monterrey Mexico to Centerville. The rail car along with several other rail cars destined for Appanoose County was dropped off in Albia by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad on Thursday and picked up by Iowa Southern Railway and transported to Appanoose County on Friday.

Once the cars arrived in Appanoose County, employees with the railroad began to decouple the cars from the engine when they found a deceased body inside the car. The bodies were removed from the rail car and transported to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for examination.

An official cause and manner of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office; however, evidence at the scene indicates that the two individuals were likely killed by a shifting of the load of steel. The State Medical Examiner’s Office will attempt to identify the sex, race, and nationality of the individuals killed. Evidence at the scene indicated that one of the individuals may have been from Honduras but the nationality has not been confirmed.

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