Medical examiner: Man found in Iowa City creek died accidentally

26-year-old probably drowned, official says

Jonathan Guerrero
Jonathan Guerrero

IOWA CITY — Jonathan Guerrero — the man found dead in Ralston Creek on July 1 — died of blunt force injuries, with other conditions contributing to his death, according to the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The cause of death was blunt force injuries to the head, Clayton Schuneman, the office’s administrative director, told The Gazette on Tuesday.

Other “significant conditions” that contributed to Guerrero’s death were a right femur fracture and “probable drowning,” according to Schuneman.

Guerrero’s death was determined to be an accident.

Guerrero, 26, was found dead in Ralston Creek in the 400 block of South Gilbert Street. His body was discovered by a nearby resident who alerted police.

Schuneman said authorities are awaiting toxicology results for both Guerrero and 45-year-old Eric Riskedahl, who was found dead in a makeshift homeless camp under the Highway 6 Bridge, the same day Guerrero was found.

Authorities believe the deaths are unrelated. A cause of death for Riskedahl was not yet available and will likely take a few weeks, Schuneman said.

The events leading to Guerrero’s death remain unknown. Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Stevens said the case still is under investigation.


“We have a few leads we’re working on,” Stevens said. “The evidence we have so far is consistent with the cause and manner of death.”

He encouraged anyone with information about Guerrero’s death contact police.

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11:43AM | Thu, September 26, 2019

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