Public Safety

Missing Iowa teenager found dead

Marshalltown boy ran away from home five days ago

A Marshalltown teenager, whose family issued an emotional plea for him to return after he ran away from home last week, was found dead Sunday after nearly five days of searching, authorities said.

This discovery marked the second time in about nine months that local, state and federal investigators and teams of volunteers pulled together to look for Iowa teenagers who had disappeared from home — only to see their frantic efforts end in tragedy.

Corey Brown, 13, was found about 10:45 a.m. in a secluded area in the western part of the city, Marshalltown police announced Sunday.

Authorities did not disclose an estimated time or cause of death, nor details of what led to the discovery.

“At this time, there is no evidence or information that indicates criminal activity is connected to this missing person/death investigation. However, this is still an active investigation and all possible scenarios will be thoroughly investigated,” Marshalltown police said on Facebook.

At an earlier news conference, police said that Corey left his home on the south side of Marshalltown late Tuesday after having words with his parents — what police Chief Mike Tupper described as a “normal parental discussion … nothing extraordinary” that caused the boy to get upset and leave. Security camera footage showed him walking away from the home. He did not take his cellphone.

The eighth-grader ran away, wearing a coat and stocking cap, as Iowa’s winter turned blustery and bitter cold, with wind chills dipping well below zero.

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Though police said they had no reason to think foul play was involved, Marshall County CrimeStoppers and the Lennox Employees Credit Union teamed up to offer a $1,000 reward.

In a poignant news conference Thursday, Corey’s parents and older brother implored him to return home. After the discovery Sunday, the family asked for privacy.

“The family wishes to thank the Marshalltown/Marshall County community for all of their support during this difficult time. The family also thanks the public safety personnel, and volunteers, who worked diligently during the search for Corey. The family is not accepting requests for interviews and do not wish to make a public statement at this time,” police said in their Facebook post.

Besides Marshalltown police and Marshall County deputies, authorities from the FBI, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa State Patrol and from several other emergency management agencies helped in the search.

The authorities searched bodies of water multiple times, and asked community residents to check their property carefully for signs of the missing boy.

Minuteman Printing’s Marshalltown location made hundreds of flyers for free, and local grocery stores handed them out to customers.

“The police department sincerely appreciates the innumerable hours put in by all of these partners during the search for Corey. These agencies all provided exceptionally professional service under very difficult conditions,” the announcement said.

Last year, local, state and federal officials and scores of volunteers searched the La Porte City area for four months to find Jake Wilson, 16.

The autistic teen told his family April 7, 2018, he was going for a walk but did not return.

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After a massive search and several false sightings of him in other states, kayakers found his remains along Wolf Creek near his home.

Authorities said they didn’t believe any foul play was involved.

The Marshalltown Times-Republican contributed.

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